April 02, 1984 12:00 PM

If after graduation those beasts from Animal House had decided to go into police work, they would have ended up in this movie. It does for police schools what Stripes did for Army basic training: trashes it. The film stars Steve (The Day After) Guttenberg and Kim (Porky’s) Cattrall as two of a motley group of recruits enticed to a police academy by a new mayor’s attempts to broaden the force. (The city is never named though the movie was shot in Toronto.) G.W. (St. Elsewhere) Bailey is the training sergeant, in a tonsil-baring, hyperdisciplinarian role straight out of the Jack Webb-Lou Gossett handbook. The other recruits include ex-pro footballer Bubba Smith, Dave (Four Friends) Graf and young Michael Winslow. The sharp-eyed will recognize Debralee (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) Scott and porn queen Georgina (The Devil in Miss Jones) Spelvin in small roles. But the funniest bits go to George Gaynes, so terrific in Tootsie as the actor with the crush on Dustin Hoffman’s female alter ego. Gaynes plays the academy’s absentminded commandant and is a perfect foil for a film that dotes on demolishing authority figures. Hugh Wilson, the main writer-director on WKRP in Cincinnati, directed the film as his first feature. He sinks to that now-standard ploy: having a male character peep at shapely young women taking showers, as if this in itself is funny. But the movie is generally good-natured and, for this kind of thing, tasteful. Nobody should be arrested because of it, anyway. (R)

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