The setup was simple: pitch Kindergarten Cop 2 -- the follow-up to the 1990 comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an FBI agent deep undercover as a primary-school teacher -- to The Rock, and wait for him to say yes. Since that didn't happen, Dolph Lundgren is the new replacement in this semi-sequel/reboot that no one quite asked for.
Because we're gluttons for punishment, we watched the film on Netflix and highlighted some ridiculous moments proving that this is, in fact, a real movie. These 11 moments are so bad, they're actually amazing.
1. Code word: pineapple
While working undercover in the film's opening scene, gruff FBI agent Reed (Lundgren) finds himself seconds away from being killed by some Euro gangsters before they grant him his final words. His response? Pineapple. As Reed points out, "It's a delicious fruit" -- and also the code word for the raid order. One can already envision a scenario of Arnold watching this back at home in a recliner, cigar in mouth and a glass of Scotch in hand, shaking his head.
2. Lawn workout
Dolph lifts some weights and practices Krav Maga in his front yard. It's less of an OMG moment and more of an OMD moment (forgive me); this is actually one of the few things the movie gets right. If nothing else, it's a brief sliver of realism in a film littered with heightened classroom hijinks. In the distant future, Dolph may rewatch this scene and think to himself, "Whole lotta truth there." Maybe he'll crack a smile, too.
3. Stealing from Seinfeld
After the sting operation, we jump ahead one year, where the film is already doubling down on its sitcom-level comedy. Agent Reed gets frustrated when the Twix bar he paid for gets stuck in a vending machine at police headquarters. He then takes out his gun and points it at said machine, demanding his "goddamn Twix bar." It's a real moment of conflict, but you're better off revisiting "The Dealership" episode of Seinfeld for some gripping candy-bar drama.
4. Death by chocolate
Though the film's action is inherently lousy, thanks to director and DTV specialist Don Michael Paul (Jarhead 2, Death Race 4), we get our first peek at how valuable a vending machine can be when Agent Reed uses it as a shield during a firefight and smashes it into some evil assailants. After the battle, that Twix bar finally emerges from the machine as the spoils of hallway warfare. Reminder: it took four people to write this script.
5. The ultimate MacGuffin
Ivan Reitman's original is an oasis of originality compared to this lazy reboot, which finds Agent Reed going undercover in order to locate a flash drive with sensitive FBI information. The MacGuffin in the original was a young boy, but it seems that casting one more youngster would have broken this film's budget. In short, this is a bad movie about how important flash drives can be in our day-to-day lives. Color me excited to perform a Google search for "important flash drive movies" in a few years to see if this movie pops up.
6. Story time
Agent Reed's efforts to milk some info from his students are thwarted when he must adhere to the regularly scheduled story-time portion of the day. He reads the kids Rainbow Bird before slamming the book shut and renouncing its liberal themes of sharing. This is the closest we come to any sort of characterization for Reed, a true no-nonsense instructor.
7. Sugar rush
Attempting to the win the kids over on his first day, Reed treats them all to chocolate-chunk cookies, which results in everyone going berserk while a KIDZ BOP-esque version of "I Want Candy" plays on the soundtrack. It's a callback to the original, and allows the fish-out-of-water Reed to enlist the help of a young, attractive female co-worker to corral the kids. A toy wagon was rammed into Arnold's ankle 26 years ago, causing him to fall to the floor in momentary defeat. This time, the struggle isn't the same.
8. The art of war
When a disappointing loss in capture the flag renders some of his students sad and broken, Reed assembles some action figures to reenact the infamous Trojan Horse story. Reed's off-kilter curriculum serves a greater purpose later on in the film, but in the moment, it's just as rousing as anything in Wolfgang Petersen's 2004 sword-and-sandal epic Troy.
9. Muscles and line dancing
"Your muscles, they scream one-night stand" is a miraculous line. Reed finally has love interest Olivia (Darla Taylor) back at his trailer (serious Martin Riggs vibes) for a romantic night, and just before the ostensible hookup, Reed offers Olivia a Twix bar (the third and last Twix sighting), prompting her to question his diet, to which Reed responds, "Want me to show you how I stay in shape?" We cut to the couple line dancing at a country bar and Reed wearing a cowboy hat. Cinema incarnate.
10. Talking to a pig
In a perfect world, Dolph Lundgren interacting with a pig deserves its own movie, but sadly, it only gets a minute of screen time here, an offensive and unforgivable act. When making your year-end "best quotes" list, don't forget about, "Hey, come on, pig, I'm telling you, I don't need therapy."
11. Take me to the river
The ponytailed villain of the original, Cullen Crisp (best name ever?), was shot and killed by Arnold in somewhat dramatic fashion. The brain trust of this film stages the final showdown between Reed and the token bearded villain in a lake where there are no limbs broken or bullets dispersed, but bodies slammed. Yes, Reed body slams the baddie and then utters, "Class dismissed." Fin.
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