A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kindergarten Cop 2 is a very late direct-to-DVD companion piece to Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1990 hit comedy Kindergarten Cop. It's not a "sequel" (it has all new characters and a whole new story); only the concept remains the same: Law officer goes undercover as a teacher in a kindergarten classroom to catch a criminal. Though the action and violence are mostly slapstick and not meant to be taken seriously, there's enough gunplay, fighting, and suspense, along with some racy language ("s--t," "ass," "bitch," "damn," "my sister has a vagina") to earn the film a PG-13 rating. As a result, it's not always clear exactly which audiences the filmmakers were targeting. The comedy is kid-friendly, the story is simple (and mostly ludicrous) to a fault, and the villains are farcical and exaggerated, but bodies fall, guns are fired, and fists are landed, so it's an odd blend. Expect some comic references to having sex ("booty call," "keep the shark in the tank"), and the camera leers at young women in bikinis poolside. A few scenes include casual drinking, and one character's alcohol abuse is addressed.
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What's the story?
What happens when the FBI's database containing the names of addresses of everyone in the witness protection program is lost in KINDERGARTEN COP 2? Dolph Lundgren -- that's what happens. Sure that the flash drive that holds the precious information has been hidden in the classroom of a recently deceased kindergarten teacher, Agent Reed must retrieve it before the consummate Russian evildoer Zogu (a teddy-bearish Aleks Paunovic) gets his hands on it. Concealing his true identity even from school officials, it's fish-out-of-water time as Reed takes over the class, falls in love with a spirited female teacher, and learns as much about himself as a man as he does about his case. Along the way, he's supported by his wiser partner (Bill Bellamy) and the agency itself. Unfortunately, Zogu isn't far behind, and matters come to a crucial climax as all of those with whom Reed has come to care about end up in harm's way.
Is it any good?
Given the nonsensical situations, predictability, and less-than-stellar writing and acting, this non-sequel sequel doesn't measure up to the Arnold Schwarzenegger original. Whatever one might think of Schwarzenegger's inherent acting chops, he brought warmth, a twinkle, and high energy to a silly concept and made it fun. Dolph Lundgren, game and trying hard with a good sense of humor, simply can't sell it. Surrounded by other exaggerated, farcical performances (the few actors trying to make it real fall by the wayside) and a story that relies on zero logic, the result is watchable only to see the performances of some cute 6-year-olds as they spar with Lundgren. Even then, seeing those kids given permission to join the climactic "battle" sequences and fight the villains is beyond silly. Mildly entertaining for those who like to see strapping strongmen succumb to the charms of innocence. Violence and language make it unsuitable for most kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the nature of movie "sequels." List some of the attributes that make a film (or book) a sequel. Is this movie truly a sequel to Kindergarten Cop? Why, or why not?
This film talks about "being angry at the action, not the man." What does this mean? How does it apply to real-life situations? How can you separate your actions from your character?
Which clues do the filmmakers provide in this movie to clarify that the violence is not meant to be taken seriously? How do a villain's personality and behavior affect the level to which he is to be feared? Was Zogu scary or silly?
Themes & Topics
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