Picks and Pans Review: Moving Violations

Neal Israel and Pat Proft, who co-wrote this movie about a school for violators of the traffic law, also co-wrote Police Academy It is to be hoped that they have the humor-in-pedagogy notion out of their systems. They rely in this case on sight gags involving vehicles careening downhill out of control, which make an excellent metaphor for their movie. The film’s star is John Murray, who is Bill’s brother and just asking to be told, “Get out of here, you younger sibling.” He has made a classically wrongheaded decision to try to imitate his brother, right down to the way Bill slouches when he’s doing one of his super-laid-back reaction lines. At best John is only a poor copy. (By comparison John Belushi’s brother Jim at least established his credentials as an actor by doing a dramatic role in Thief.) The rest of the cast is slighted, though Sally Keller-man and James (The Razor’s Edge) Keach have time to embarrass themselves as a corrupt judge and a cop. Only Jennifer (No Small Affair) Tilly, as a ditsy NASA physicist, engenders any goodwill. Her appeal is considerable, but even she can’t stifle the yawns for more than a few frames. (PG-13)

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