1990 • 111 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #620 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray
With muscular sensitivity, Hollywood’s last action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger goes undercover as a teacher of five-year-olds, who include a tumor-forewarning death-obsessive and a genitalia expert.24 Jul 2012
SYNOPSIS: Historically, the policier and the family comedy were two distinct categories. Then, in 1990, Kindergarten Cop gave us all a lesson in genre revisionism. With muscular sensitivity, Hollywood’s last action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger embodies detective John Kimble, who is compelled to go undercover as a teacher of five-year-olds in order to catch a ponytailed drug dealer. Though it’s distinguished by pulse-pounding suspense, a Crayola-bright palette by cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver), and trenchant observations about education in the Bush I era, the film’s emotional center is Schwarzenegger’s gruff yet good-tempered interaction with a class full of precocious scamps, including a tumor-forewarning death-obsessive and a genitalia expert. By leavening a children’s film with enough violence to please even the most cold-hearted bastard, director Ivan Reitman shows that he refuses to color inside the lines.