Monday, October 6, 2008

Kindergarten Cop (Ivan Reitman, 1990)

The opening scenes of Ivan Reitman's strangely titled Kindergarten Cop purposely play to Arnold's strengths as a performer. He plays a hard-boiled narcotics cop on the hunt for a killer and these scenes are given an extra gritty feel in order to make the brawny legislators transition from the crack den to the playpen even more jarring. It's the only thing I can come up with to explain the aggressive nature of his shotgun antics. I mean, as a supporter of lowlifes in movies, I was a little disturbed by the wanton disregard for their rights as citizens. Nevertheless, I eventually accepted this harsh treatment as necessary for the sake of the tone, and headstrongly supported Arnold as he got his genetically engineered ass to Astoria, Oregon. A supporting character's convenient bout with severe stomach flu sets the stage for what has to be one of the oddest premises to burst out the Hollywood idea factory. Yet, without said illness, you're probably looking at an another run-of-the-mill kindergarten set sting operation movie. However, with the illness implemented, the opportunity to witness an oversized Austrian man (inexplicably named Kimble) attempt to teach little kids the importance of orderly marching and military-style discipline was able to run free to explore a varied success in the difficult, yet rewarding field of comedy and romance.

No offense to the lovely Pamela Reed, but I'm kinda glad her character got sick. And so was Arnold Schwarzenegger, as it not only gave him the chance to flex his clowning muscles in a sidekick-free environment with a bunch of screaming brats, but increased the probability that he might end up rubbing up against the milky essence of Penelope Ann Miller in an erotic context. Though, it should be said, that without Miss Reed on-board as Arnold's partner, the film could have been a mild disaster. Sure, Arnold's kooky rapport with the school kids would have kept things afloat for the most part, but without Pamela's natural talent at the table, the dramatic scenes would have been dead on arrival.

In case it isn't obvious yet, Pamela Reed was the main reason I was able to extract the amount enjoyment I did from the bloated husk that is Kindergarten Cop. I mean, not only was her decision not to cock block Arnold when at the restaurant with Penelope's character fantastic, but she's utters the film's best non-tumour-related line while displaying some pretty decent heroics.

Arnold has an almost Christopher Walken-esque quality to his style of comedy in this film. In that, I wasn't a hundred percent sure how much was intentional and how much was unintentional. Like I said, Reed helped him in regard to the dramatic scenes, but he was basically on his own with the children. I thought he managed to stay focused during most of the kiddie scenes, unitizing his commanding presence to keep them from upstaging him.

Except there was nothing he could do when he came face-to-face with the penis-vagina kid. An unassuming Miko Hughes (Gage Creed from Pet Sematary) literally controls the screen as the genitalia obsessed tyke. The only way I think that Arnold could have realistically kept up with little Miko in the charisma department was if he had taken a sniff of Penelope Ann Miller's panties while searching her drawers for clues. But he didn't sniff, so, advantage, Miko.

While Penelope Ann Miller provides the film's conventional sexiness as one of Arnold's fellow teacher (I loved the way she sat on her desk in a purple dress and the way her uncovered left shoulder dominated a dramatic scene like no uncovered left shoulder has in movie history), the unconventional sexiness is provided by the alluring Alix Koromzay. The future star of Mimic 2 plays a junkie, and I thought she looked scrumptious in cowboy boots and smeared mascara.

Oh, and Carroll Baker and Richard Tyson (Three O'Clock High) were wonderful as the comically evil mother-son duo (he throttles a man over an electric race car set, while she purchases a rectal thermometer with a sadistic brand of glee).

Quirky fun-fact: Angela Bassett plays the flight attendant who asks Arnold: "Is your wife okay, sir?"



  1. Hey, this is zbigreddogz.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I find this movie actually gets better on repeat viewings, there's just something about this movie.

    Anyhow, I wouldn't say that Pamela Reed is the only reason I liked it, but she was a great, weird character. I love when she says "You're not so tough without your car ARE YAH?"

    Was a pretty amazing shoulder uncovering, wasn't it? And yes, the sitting on the desk was amazing.

    Oh, and random question: did you ever see "Years of Living Dangerously"? The principle lady got nominated (Won?) an Oscar for that movie...playing a man. Anyhow, another one of my favorite scenes "What did it feel like to hit that son of a bitch?"

    I also think the restaurant scene was strangely charming. One of my favorite scenes. So was the "lazers" scene. So was the scene where he read the childrens book about "that's where I wanted to go today..." Matter of fact, almost the entire movie was strangely charming.

    Anyhow, glad my rec was worth it.

    Now, I will just randomly list lines I like:

    "Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! My name is John Kimble, and I love my car."

    "You don't understand, I have nothing better to do, and nowhere else to go. I am going to hang out with you, till the end of time."

    "I'M A COP YOU IDIOT!!!"

    : cuffs girl to dead guy : "Don't go anywhere."

    "Take off the gun."
    "Good idea. I mean, they're kindergarteners. How bad can they be?"
    "On second thought, take the gun."

    "SHHHHAAAAAAAAADDDAAAAAAAAAAAPPPP! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up...Oh no, don't start that again..."

    "...and Gus my T-ball coach is better then you too."
    "Do you happen to know anyone who is NOT better then me?"

    "Are you married Mr. Kimble?"
    "No, I'm not."
    "Welcome to Astoria, the single parent capital of the world."

    "We are going to play a game that'll be extremely fun. It's called who is your daddy, and what does he do?"
    "I bet your Dad is big. Is he a wrestler?"
    (Firefighter! etc.)
    "No, no, no...(holds head)"
    "Are you OK Mr. Kimble?"
    "I've just got a headache."
    "It could be a tumor."
    "IT'S NOTTA TOOMAH! IT'S NOT, AT ALL! Anyhow, I meant, who is YOUR daddy, and what does he do?"

    "You hit the kid, I hit you."
    "You Bastar..."
    :thud: :guy falls over:

    "I thought the introduction of a ferrit was a terrible idea, but the children seemed to like it. I thought the use of a police whistle was outrageous..."
    "It was all I could think of..."
    "Please...but it worked. I don't know what kind of policeman you are, but you are a very good Kindergarten teacher. Now, just one more thing: what did it feel like to hit that son of a bitch?"
    ":snickers: It felt...great!"

  2. I wouldn't say Pamela Reed was the only reason, either (though I guess I sort of implied that). But I thought Reed and Arnold worked well together.

    I can't believe Arnold let her be the hero at the end.

    As a leg person, I prefer the desk moment, but I totally get why you put such an emphasis on the sweater sequence.

    I haven't seen the Year of Living Dangerously, but I am familiar with Linda Hunt's gender bending performance.

    Someone on the imdb message board for Kindergarten Cop said Linda's air pinch was their fave moment.

    The whole "Who is your Daddy and what does he do?" segment was pretty terrific.

  3. air pinch? I must be missing something...what are you referring to?

    Oh, and and I forgot two of my favorite quotes:

    "Take your toy back to the carpet."
    "I'm not a policeman I'm a princess!"
    "Take it back!!!!"
    "Oh, all right."

    "No more mommies here to wipe your little tushies, no more "Mr. Kimble, I have to go to the bathroom," oh no. THERE IS NO BATHROOM!!!"

  4. Oops. I meant to say "air punch."

    You know, after Arnold leaves Hunt's office, the diminutive actress pretends she's the one punching the abusive father.

  5. Oh, air PUNCH. That makes sense.

    Yes, that was a great scene.

  6. Oh, and one last quote:

    "That's Zach Sullivan. He doesn't like anyone to talk to him."
    "He's a poopoo head!"
    "No, he's a pee pee face!"
    "Haha! He's a caca-poo-poo!"

    My sister and I use to joke about this incessantly. "Poo poo head" was one of our favorite insults.