Kindergarten Cop (USA, 1990)

Directed by: Ivan Reitman. Maybe it was because I had gone out of my way (for some reason) to see Twins, that sublime work of beauty, that I realized that I hadn’t actually seen, in its entirety, what I suspected would be my favourite of the goofy, off-type Schwarzenegger film. There’s a very specific frequency, a flavour, something about early 90’s children’s movies that ring a very deep bell with me because that was the time I was watching the most kid’s movies. Maybe that’s what’s so uncanny here, because it’s nominally a grown-up story for grown-ups (a cop going undercover to catch an unhinged killer), with the most badass, violent, grown-up action hero at the time, but it’s set in a world completely for kids, and he’s in these scenarios where all of his tough-guy shit doesn’t work. That’s not what’s uncanny here, that’s just the basic comic premise—and I fucking love it. These dumb jokes, watching Arnie get worked up in this uncomfortable situation surrounded by kids, this fish out of water stuff is so good. No, what I mean is the fact that the film itself is shot in that style of a rubbery, goofy, stupid kid’s movie from the 90’s. It doesn’t look like Predator or Running Man or True Lies, it looks like fucking Mighty Ducks or Mrs. Doubtfire. That’s the genius of this film. It’s one film dressed in the clothes of another film. And that’s fucking sick. Plus, side note, the guy who plays the bad guy with a pony tail, Richard Tyson, was also the bad guy with a ponytail in Kingpin, and his Wikipedia says he played the lead in a 4-6 hour Genghis Khan movie that was filmed in Kazakhstan but had to stop filming because of the fall of the USSR, and was subsequently left unfinished, but would have featured Charlton Heston, Pat Morita, and this ponytail guy as fucking Genghis Khan. So I’m glad I know about that now. Also this.

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