Kindergarten Cop 2 full movie review - A filmmaking tumor
It took some time before I started to feel affection for Kindergarten Cop. I still don't enjoy it for the cutesy stuff. The kids aren't especially charming or anything. But I actually like Arnold's performance.
It's hard to articulate exactly where Kindergarten Cop 2 fails, because it seems to be filled with bad choices. I can't fault anyone in particular for their acting though, since I don't think anyone had any material worth working with.
First, there are structural problems. There's a remarkable amount of time spent on plot, even though none of it seems to be important. Normally I'm a big fan of plot over character development, but in this case, the approach robs the story of any sense of humanity. I didn't feel like Dolph's character had much of an arc.
Second, an effort to update the movie to make it relevant to "modern times" involves turning the school into an expensive private school. A variety of complaints about "liberal" teaching methods are leveled, although the movie is also willing to suggest that at least some of these methods are effective. On the other hand, this approach is undermined by including strange things like a therapy pig. This approach to the story will make it seem dated very quickly, and instead just serves to alienate a potential audience.
Third, the police-work plot feels like a leftover from the late 80s. Dolph Lundgren is paired with a comic-relief partner. There's a ridiculous shootout in a police station that seems strangely understaffed. There's an angry black captain, who shouts unintelligibly. The music reinforces this.
Fourth, the budget's restrictions shine through. I'm easily impressed by movies doing an effective job of working around a tight budget. In this movie, the longer it goes on, it cultivates this strange feeling... like something is missing. There aren't enough people. Not just speaking roles, but there just aren't enough people filling in the empty hallways in the police station and the school.
Fifth, there is some strange humor that seems out of place. There's a bit that involves a supporting character being hit in the crotch with a taser. This isn't a fleeting, brief thing. They spend some time dwelling on it. The scene ends with a joke about the guy having soiled himself. This isn't funny. Well, it's funny because it seems like a scene from a dramatically different movie. But what made them think this gag was a good fit for this movie? Sixth, one of the things that I'm sure everyone noticed. Dolph Lundgren is currently 59 years old. His love interest in this movie is played by a girl who is currently 30. This girl talks about Dolph's muscles lovingly. There's something uncomfortable about this romance. I think it could work, but no one mentions Dolph's age. If she acknowledged it, it might seem a little more normal. But as it is, the movie completely ignores that Dolph being drastically older than most of the other characters.
Since this is up on Netflix, it's probably worth watching, at least for the curious. This doesn't reach the same levels as The Room, where it's baffling in so many ways. I understand why this was made, but I feel like it was made by people who didn't understand the charm of the original.