Party Pooper

It wasn’t only the ‘90s when mega-action stars found their way into kitschy PG-13 family-esque entertainment, but surely Schwarzenegger ending up in Kindergarten Cop, Twins, Junior, and others set that standard. Luckily, a few of those ended up like Kindergarten Cop.

Kindergarten Cop is a ridiculous movie about a shotgun-toting detective turned undercover teacher, finding love, and of course controlling a class of screechy five-year-olds. It’s nonsense, but plays up that nonsense, even mocking Schwarzenegger’s own brand in the opening act as he goes full Terminator, trench coat, sunglasses, and gun in tow.

Kindergarten Cop doesn’t ignore the real world around it

It’s almost impossible to imagine Kindergarten Cop’s pitch meeting that covered child abuse, divorce, cancer, and a ferret, all playfully combined under the roof of a small town school. While embracing the kitsch factor, Kindergarten Cop doesn’t ignore the real world around it, providing social circumstances well outside the norm for a movie in this vein. It’s terrifying how easily child abuse invisibly seeps through the system unnoticed, or how desperate a mother becomes to escape an abuser. Those genuine real word situations butt against Kindergarten Cop’s famous soundbites – “It’s not a tumor.”

The entire screenplay is a genre mashing risk, but it works, no matter how disingenuous the premise becomes. Schwarzenegger is wonderful, but he’s lifted by his supporting cast, many of them the brilliantly cast children. Linda Hunt’s wonderful school principal – again, masterfully cast to make Kindergarten Cop’s star a visual giant – and Penelope Anne Miller as the love interest pair well to Schwarzenegger, naturally guiding him from his aggressive cop demeanor into a genuine nurturer.

The script is infinitely predictable undercover cop fodder, especially the core romance, which inevitably leads to a moment of heartbreaking truth for the new couple. The biggest surprise of Kindergarten Cop doesn’t come from its story but its genuine heart and sweetness. While violent in spurts, that action organically counters the kids and their small problems. Director Ivan Reitman gets mileage from his young cast, including what’s certainly truthful responses when asking them what their fathers do for work. It’s only funny because it feels wholly genuine, not written. That also means credit is deserved to the Cousins, identical twins playing Dominic, who do remarkable work to keep that feeling of authenticity.

Video

Kino delivers a fresh 4K scan for this format debut, and it’s a winner. Generous definition and texture highlight most scenes, whether in close or from afar. Facial detail shines behind a thin grain layer, easily handled by the encode.

Color, within the Dolby Vision pass, appears organic. Kindergarten Cop features natural flesh tones, and solid, stable, consistent primaries. Fantastic greenery shows off the location scenery, and the sharpness only helps define every nuance in this coastal community.

While not containing “wow” factor, brightness has pop when it comes to light sources and a soft touch on the overall contrast. Black levels thicken up, rich, dense, and hearty to give Kindergarten Cop its depth.

Audio

A surprisingly boomy DTS-HD track features plentiful bass, whether that’s the soundtrack or gunshots. An additional stereo mix (both DTS-HD) is also available. While a bit heavy, the 5.1 offers bite that’s worthwhile. It’s not much for surround use, but the score pleasingly widens. Kids screaming in class nicely fills the soundstage too, and streetside, ambiance from cars bounce around. That’s it though.

Extras

Kino brings two commentaries into the extras menu, the first shared by historians Alexandra Heller Nicholas and Josh Nelson. The second brings in another historian, Samm Deighan. What’s left is the original trailer.

Kindergarten Cop
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

Ridiculous, corny, and pure ’90s, Kindergarten Cop is still hilarious, easily overcoming the kitschy premise.

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User Review
3 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 43 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:


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