Kindergarten Cop 2, 2016.
Directed by Don Michael Paul.
Starring Dolph Lundgren, Fiona Vroom, Aleks Paunovic, Andre Tricoteux, Bill Bellamy and Sarah Strange.
Assigned to recover sensitive stolen data, a gruff FBI agent goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher, but the school’s liberal, politically correct environment is more than he bargained for.
“It’s not a tumour!” Right, now that’s out the way, that brings us nicely to the somewhat unexpected sequel to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 cult favourite, Kindergarten Cop. The original didn’t particularly pick up rave reviews on its release but it had a good box office return and has endeared itself upon audiences more and more over the years. It’s an Ahnuld film I particularly enjoy, even if it’s never quite sure whether it’s an Arnold film or a family friendly jape. Whatever it is, it’s good fun.
So 2016 has rolled around. We now have a direct to DVD follow up starring Dolph Lundgren. The plot is almost identical. Dolph plays an FBI agent (But wait…it’s still called Kindergarten…erm…Cop…) who must go undercover in a school. This time the bungling lawman tasked with the mission is after a flashdrive containing life or death information, which is also being hunted by Russian criminals. The school in question is a modern, politically correct, health and safety, fad mad place which goes right against Agent Reed’s (Lundgren) old school personality.
Now lets get right down to business. Is it good? Not particularly. Is it as downright abysmal as you might expect? Not at all. There have been plenty of cheap and woeful straight to video sequels, including the wretched Jingle All The Way 2. Kindergarten Cop 2 has its moments and has a few wry observations, not least the PC gone made modern era, and interesting observations on schools normally reserved for the wealthy and privileged. None of the kids eat processed sugars or gluten. They’re all delightfully behaved and regimented. That is the main difference between this and the first film. That aside it follows the first film’s formula fairly closely, from the action opening, to blossoming romance, to troubled kids suffering at the hands of abusive parents.
Lundgren has fun here. He’s not nearly as awkward (in the wrong way) as the trailer suggested. He’s got the charisma to make the film watchable. The rest of the cast are okay whilst Bill Bellamy, as chief comedic support, is pretty good. Dolph’s love interest, played by Darla Taylor (who is a mere 30 years younger than Dolph) has little to do. That said if actresses feel they struggle for strong roles in mainstream cinema, they’re positively starved of it in these straight to video flicks. Let’s just say this wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test.
Don Michael Paul has been around the block as a director, not least with his fair share of helming sequels. He does an efficient job. He knows what he’s doing even if the film is never injected with much more than a straight down the line “lets crank this out” kind of vibe. There’s some action, because it is Dolph after all and it’s nicely done.
Kindergarten Cop 2 is passable entertainment. It’s not that good. Some wry observation aside it’s pretty dumb and it’ll leave you craving Twix (the product placement so blatant in this that it becomes a plot-point almost). Lundgren has churned out a lot of films lately, often in 5-10 minute supporting roles and looking bored out of his skull, so it’s good to see him leading a picture and having fun.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/197064794″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=fale” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]