One of my favourite things to do is revisit films that I used to watch over and over as a child, to see if they have the same appeal when watched in adulthood. Needless to say, when I had the chance to watch Kindergarten Cop (1990, dir. Ivan Reitman) the other day, I was filled with a sense of childlike joy. Did the film live up to my memories of it from the 90s? The film’s synopsis is as follows:
John Kimble is a tough city cop who’s been on the trail of drug dealer Cullen Crisp for years. He finally tracks Crisp down but it seems the only person that can testify against him is his ex-wife. The problem is she’s disappeared and all Kimble knows is the name of the school in Oregon where her son attends. When things don’t quite go to plan, Kimble finds he has to go undercover on his toughest assignment yet – Kindergarten teacher! (source)
Here is a selection of my thoughts on Kindergarten Cop.
- It’s not a tumour!
- This is probably one of my favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger roles of all time. Seriously. His performance in this is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a hard-boiled policeman wrapped in a kindergarten teacher. And his comic timing isn’t too bad.
- But upon rewatch, I was confronted with two main thoughts.
- Firstly, I can’t believe my mother allowed me to watch this as a child. We even had it on VHS. There’s heaps of violence, references to drug use, and ‘adult themes’ such as domestic violence.
- Secondly, who is even the audience for this? It’s a mix of gritty crime drama plus slapstick-y jokes plus romantic comedy, combining the above mentioned darker themes. At times, it’s a confusing viewing experience.
- But you can’t go past Schwarzenegger, who really goes commit to his role as the very Austrian John Kimble, with the least Austrian sounding name in the entire universe.
- There is also absolutely nothing better than the cheesy 90s sitcom score by Randy Edelman. If you think the score sounds like that of the 90s canine classic Beethoven (1992), then you’d be right, since Edelman scored that film as well.
- Ultimately, Kindergarten Cop is probably one of those films you can put on for a laugh and just enjoy without thinking too hard. Just shut your brain off and enjoy the funny jokes and moments of genuine suspense, and have a laugh at this impossibly huge Austrian man attempting to control an army of four year olds.
Watch the trailer here.