Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow (1994)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Underneath The Mission
|Year Of Production||1994|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Alan Metter|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
To be honest with you, I have never seen this movie. I am writing this part of the review before I watch the final movie in the Police Academy series. I am not sure why I have put this off for so long. Sure, there have been many reports of how much of a fizzer this movie is. Even imdb.com ranks it towards the bottom of their worst 100 movies ever made. But the same applies to Mission Miami Beach and City Under Siege - they are only a little less lowly ranked than Mission To Moscow. In my opinion, these two sequels are not deserving of their lowly ranking - I have seen much worse. Perhaps I was too embarrassed to hire the VHS out for Mission to Moscow. The others had the occasional television airing, but I do not recall this one making it to the airwaves. I am undoubtedly incorrect - with this movie being over ten years old, surely it was at least shown in a 2am timeslot somewhere.
With this movie being made five years after City Under Siege, I believe that some of the spark of the series may have been lost. I notice from a movie poster that some of the main cast is missing, including Hightower, Hookes and Proctor. With no Proctor, Harris will be by himself - based on the previous movies, he is not as funny in solo scenes. Then there is a new face amongst the group. Perhaps a new recruit - most likely another Mahoney (then Nick Lassard) replacement.
For each of the preceding movies in the Police Academy series, I have attempted to write an objective review, discussing more positives than negatives, although admittedly I could not write too objective a review for Citizens on Patrol.
Deep down, I knew that Mission to Moscow would be different, because I had not seen and appreciated it during my younger years. My gut feelings were correct. This is the worst movie of the series and is rightfully one of the worst movies ever made.
While difficult to describe the formula that was used for the rest of the series, whatever it was is now gone. The cast act awkwardly around each other, perhaps due to the five year gap between movies. Harris is most out of place due to Proctor's reluctance to return. He is now on his own throughout the entire flick, the same as Commandant Lassard, whose character mistakenly enters the wrong vehicle in Moscow and ends up spending a week with a Russian family.
The plot revolves around a villainous Russian named Konstantine Konali (Ron Perlman) who releases addictive computer games that sweep the world. Somehow, he poses a threat to the Russian authorities who are unable to apprehend him. In order to catch this so-called criminal, the authorities seek the most capable police officers available to assist in the search for Konali. For whatever reason, Lassard and his team are picked and head off to Moscow.
Once there, Lassard gets separated from his team (whilst no one notices his absence), and Harris decides to work solo to catch the criminal himself, leaving the rest of the team to co-operate with the local police force in locating Konali and then planning his capture.
While Assignment: Miami Beach had a credible reason for a location change, this one is just totally ridiculous. This movie should not have been created.
This movie introduced the world to some then unknown actors. Hellboy himself Ron Perlman is the villain, with Claire Forlani (Mallrats, Meet Joe Black) as an attractive Moscow police officer. Then there are the well respected actors that should have known better, such as Christopher Lee. He did no wrong with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, yet if the creators of those movies had seen this one, perhaps he might not have gotten those more respectable jobs.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.75:1, 16x9 enhanced. This is close to the 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio.
The image has a soft feeling to it. It is not nearly as sharp as the previous movies, barring the full screen shockers.
Colour is a mixed bag. Flesh tones leave everyone red faced. Otherwise, the colour spectrum is very bland.
The transfer is good in regards to film artefacts, with very few of them to be seen. MPEG artefacts are non-existent, although I felt the bitrate could have been increased. The disc falls 500Mb short of the layer end.
Subtitles are in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, English for the Hearing Impaired and Italian for the Hearing Impaired.
The single layered disc does not have a layer change to interrupt viewing.
English, Italian and French soundtracks are available, all in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192kbps.
Dialogue is accurate for the most part. Russian accents appear to have been dubbed, as they are frequently somewhat out of sync.
There are no dropouts, clicks or pops in the soundtrack.
There are several instances of left/right panning, with the sounds of objects whizzing by a real treat (for a Police Academy movie that is).
The surrounds are used more extensively than in most 2.0 tracks. The music is somewhat immersive - it is quite a different feeling hearing the theme song emanating from all speakers.
While I never noticed any significant LFE activity, the subwoofer was turned on for several parts of the movie. Therefore I must give credit where it is due, giving a star for effort.
|Surround Channel Use|
The first 30 seconds would have you thinking this is not even a Police Academy movie. Before Lassard appears, you would think that it was advertising a cold-war movie. I cannot believe the cast praise this movie. The quality is the same as the rest of the widescreen series. 16x9, 2.0 Dolby Digital 192kbps.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The same here and there.
The Police Academy series has ended on the lowest note possible. Every other movie had at least one scene that could bring a laugh, or at least a smile. This one did not have even a single joke that worked. I almost did not make it to the end in one sitting.
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow was a failed experiment at bringing the series back several years after it supposedly wrapped up. We have a new movie coming in 2006 (according to rumours). Let us all celebrate.
|DVD||SONY DVP-NS575P, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-76PW60. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Jensen SPX-9 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub|