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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
"Whatever happened before doesn't make you who you are today." Kids can be smart enough to help grown-ups do their jobs. Don't panic -- just work the problem. Police work is about relationships.
Positive Role Models
Simmons is a great cop but can't get over not taking a shot at a criminal when he had the chance, even though the reason he held fire was to protect his partner. Karina is a bright and extroverted girl who uses her considerable brain to help police catch a criminal.
Violence & Scariness
Drones fly around expelling projectiles that look like bullets but don't seem to really hurt anyone badly. A giant drone, however, shoots projectiles that set things on fire. A bomb explodes in a warehouse, but no one is hurt.
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"Butt," "bowel movements," "dirt ball," and "pipsqueak." Characters also use multi-syllabic words, including, "accolades, "flummoxed," and "dastardly."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cop and a Half: New Recruit isn't a sequel to the 1993 movie Cop and a Half .This one has a new cast and features an outgoing 12-year-old girl with a passion for law enforcement and investigative work. Her late father had been a cop and this motivates her to latch onto and assist a broken-down detective in solving a case involving malicious drone activities. There are a few threatening moments in this comedy, but the acting and script are largely over the top, silly, and too implausible to scare anyone. Drones fly around expelling projectiles that look like bullets but don't seem to really hurt anyone badly. A giant drone shoots projectiles that set things on fire. A bomb explodes in a warehouse, but no one is hurt. Language includes "butt," "bowel movements," "dirt ball," and "pipsqueak." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's always nice to see the likable Lou Diamond Phillips on screen, but he's the most watchable part of this otherwise low-quality movie. Cop and a Half: New Recruit is mostly cringe-inducing. Lulu Wilson as Karina seems like an exceptionally bright and charming girl, but also someone with much to learn about subtlety in performance. The script doesn't make much sense. The police force is treating a mere nuisance as if it were the crime of the century. Why? Most puzzling is the fact that at the movie's supposed moment of greatest danger, when the criminal grabs hold of Karina and threatens to harm her, you have to wonder what he might do to her -- twist her arm really hard? He has no knife at her throat, no gun to her head. Yet Detective Simmons pulls his gun on the guy and keeps his distance, as if the perp might shoot or stab Karina. In that situation, the only one truly under threat is the unarmed perp with the gun aimed at him.
This is just another movie about a smart kid that isn't itself smart enough to be interesting.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.