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Kindergarten Cop (1990) - Blu-ray Review

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Kindergarten Cop (1990 - Bluray Review

Movie Review

3 starsPretty harshly assessed by critics of the day, Kindergarten Cop, the follow up collaboration between the 'Austrian Oak' and director Ivan Reitman, was still a massive financial success back in 1990 when it took over 200 million on a (now) paltry budget of around 15 million.

At this time in film history, Schwarzenegger had well and truly established himself as the most bankable star in the world, mostly for his action fare. There was a deliberate attempt by the actor toward the end of the 80s and into the 90s to venture into lighter stuff.

Kindergarten Cop sees Arnie play John Kimble, a hard-nosed obsessive cop hell bent on taking down Crisp, a local drug dealer who keeps slipping away. On the verge of successfully attaining this career long achievement, Kimble's star witness is murdered and he is forced to take an undercover assignment to locate Crisp's ex-wife and persuade her to bring him to justice: as a Kindergarten teacher!

Taken on face value this one punchline premise script makes for a pretty thin story, and it is hard to argue that assessment, as the film glides along playing that one note premise ardently. The subplots are there and effectively weave into the main narrative but don't rise above cliché.

There is a lot to be said for the films' characters. They are really likeable, and due to wonderful performances from Arnie, to Pamela Reed, the principle Linda Hunt, to all of the kids, you find yourself breezing through the 111 minute running time (rather long for a 'comedy'). The villains, played by Richard Tyson and Carroll Baker are also on point and compellingly drawn antagonists that provide real threat throughout the film. This is no small accomplishment, that each character from the mains to the smallest part are so well written and executed you want to follow through a story you already know the ending to before you get there.

It may not be the crowning achievement of Schwarzenegger's film career, but it is a solid reminder of his bravery and success in trying new things. He, unlike many of that brawns and guns ilk of the time, didn't rely solely on his well-known and very well payed shtick, and in fact attempts to subvert and poke fun at that well-trodden ground.

Kindergarten Cop is a competently made film by well-regarded director. Reitman could make this sort of thing in his sleep, and was accused at the time of doing exactly that. But the film has excellent performers, a likeable, easily digested story that's enjoyable if not hitting all the marks it aims to.

There's nothing wrong with likeable.

 

Film Details

Kindergarten Cop (1990 - Bluray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
Runtime: 111 mins
Director: Ivan Reitman
Writer: Murray Salem
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed
Genre: Comedy
Tagline: It's a jungle gym out there.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's not a tumor! It's not a tumor. At all!"
Theatrical Distributor: Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date: December 21, 1990
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: July 1 2014
Synopsis: A tough cop must pose as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate a dangerous criminal's ex-wife, who may hold the key to putting him behind bars.

 

Kindergarten Cop (1990 - Bluray Review

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray


Home Video Distributor: Universal Studios
Available on Blu-ray - July 1, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; French: DTS 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc; UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy (as download)
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

This one was a long time coming, only released in 2014. It seems Universal has little to no interest in this or Twins (which still hasn’t been released). Okay, the good is that you finally have a widescreen release of the movie, presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. That’s pretty much where the compliments will stop. The MPEG-4 AVC presentation is very inconsistent. There is a definite boost in colour, but scenes range from sanitised smooth to grainy with no consistency. It isn’t a bad picture by any stretch but in high-def those scenes that required attention stick out like a sore thumb.

The DTS-HD 2.0 mix is underwhelming to be kind. Dialogue is clear and centred and in moments of crisis, the score fills out both fronts, but it’s obvious this film is regarded by Universal as low priority.

Speaking of the studios low priority, there are no special features: just a trailer.

Supplements:

Commentary:

None

Special Features:

Trailer

Kindergarten Cop (1990 - Bluray Review

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