Kindergarten Cop (1990)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Crime

Kindergarten Cop (1990) Poster

A tough cop must pose as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate a dangerous criminal's ex-wife, who may hold the key to putting him behind bars.

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  • Penelope Ann Miller in Kindergarten Cop (1990)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop (1990)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ben Diskin in Kindergarten Cop (1990)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joseph Cousins in Kindergarten Cop (1990)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pamela Reed in Kindergarten Cop (1990)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop (1990)

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11 January 2004 | bob the moo
Reasonable entertainment
John Kimble is a lonely, driven cop who has been tracking drug lord Cullen Crisp for years. When he finally catches him, the case requires the testimony of Crisp's ex-wife who has disappeared. Kimble and his partner O'Hara follow the only lead they have to find the wife - the name of a school in Oregon where she has been seen. When O'Hara gets sick, Kimble has to fill in on his hardest undercover assignment yet - as a kindergarten teacher.

Looking back on it, this was one of several films that saw Schwarzenegger opening up his resume to become more than just an action star. Here the film plays on his personae as a tough guy (as all his comedies do), and it works pretty well all said. The plot mixes comedy and a thriller element reasonably well without doing either that well. The comedy relies on cute kids doing things and Arnold looking out of place in the school. While it is rarely laugh out loud funny, it is still inoffensive and amusing. The thriller element is average and never really convinces as bookends on a comedy.

While neither strand works that well, they both shine like stars when viewed next to a romantic subplot that at best is unconvincing and at worst is lazy and smaltzy. It is written with so much convenience and ease that it never convinces and the film stutters for it's inclusion. Schwarzenegger is OK in the lead role - he doesn't need a real comic touch here because he is just playing his usual role but in a different setting, that brings the comedy (such as it is) rather than his performance. Reed is cheeky and pretty funny, Miller is just quite plain and never really makes me believe the romantic subplot. Tyson is a pretty poor baddie, while Baker is just plain poor.

Overall this is a pretty average film that has just about enough going for it to be entertaining even if it doesn't really excel itself as either a comedy or a thriller. Some reasonable laughs and the chance to see the Governor of California sending himself up.

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