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REVIEW: Kindergarten Cop 2 (2016) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Kindergarten Cop 2 (2016)

Kindergarten-Cop-2-001

I found myself almost day dreaming in this movie, which is a step up from forcibly trying to complete recent Dolph Lundgren movies.  The likes of Shark Lake and 4GOT10 are a study in the hows and whys a man would stoop to appearing in such movies, who exactly they were targeting and, yes, how anyone (guilty) could actually watch them in full and review them.  We turn to an old property here, once a subject of ridicule for Arnold Schwarzenegger that eventually went from guilty to proud pleasure for most, Kindergarten Cop.  Arnold was shrewd enough to pit his lumbering charisma against demonic midgets in a family comedy, the opposites attract gimmick working just as well as it did in Twins.  But has it worked for Dolph Lundgren.  Sorry, but nah.

They call this Kindergarten Cop 2, but it’s basically a remake.  Rough around the edges FBI agent Dolph Lundgren lives in a trailer by the river, a scenic river by the way, not some cheap misery hole – Martin Riggs would probably approve.  Lundgren is on the case of some mobsters led by Aleks Paunovic – who cuts a reasonably fun impression as an Eastern European thug.  Paunovic wants a witness stiffed who could lead to him going to the big house.  The details leading to his demise are on a memory stick lost in a Kindergarten school.  By chance, Lundgren must infiltrate the school in order to find it.  His superiors are not happy, given how he’s the type of man who attacks vending machines when they screw him out of Twix bars, which appear with suspicious frequency and prominence in this movie.

It’s pretty much a replay of the original, Lundgren’s character has no kids of his own and holds them awkwardly, Uncle Bob style.  They torture him.  They piss on him.  The film becomes laborious though by the halfway mark of its 100 minutes, not least because there’s a highly uninteresting romantic sub plot between Lundgren and one of the other teachers.  It’s fairly tepid stuff all around, the humour can be flat and somewhat robotic… I’d have preferred it if Lundgren dead panned this stuff a little more and acknowledged the lunacy of the predicament a little differently, he seems very conscious of the ‘comedy’ some times, although I suspect the director might be more to blame.

A good thing about this movie is that it’s from Universal’s DTV division, so it looks reasonably well.  There are nice varied locations and although Lundgren has a partner on the cover art, it’s not a screw job, he’s in the full movie and it’s based around him.  I also like the politically incorrect angle of this movie — it takes aim at the nanny state and its intrusion into the classroom.  At one point, Lundgren admonishes his class of six year olds for being taken in by ‘liberal BS’ as he reads a story written for infants by some social justice warrior, funny, but scenes like these are sparse.  So some of the stuff is kinda charming, I mean I got a weak smile with Paunovic sneaking up on old lady pretending to be an FBI agent despite clearly being a brick shithouse gangster with a Croatian accent.

This film was directed by Don Michael Paul.  And I think that’s the source of the main problems here.  I think a better director could have better interpreted Lundgren’s take on this simple idea and used the budget to its full extent.  Maybe Dolph should have directed it himself.  Anyway, sorry, but you’re not missing much with this movie.  A step up for Dolph though.

5