First things first: I am a huge Dolph Lundgren fan. Ever since he made a big splash in Rocky IV (1985) as the evil Russkie who kills Apollo Creed, I've watched almost every film the guy has been in (even the dreadful Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and a couple of straight to video disasters that are best forgotten forever). What I like most about Lundgren is his ability to take any project, however lame the script is, and turn it into a watchable, occasionally terrifically entertaining, movie. His breezy charm, his mastery of martial arts, and his tongue-in-cheek approach, make him one of the most reliable action starts of the past 30 years.
And that brings me to Kindergarten Cop 2 (2016), the official sequel to the 1990 Universal/Ivan Reitman hit starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, this is a low-budget, direct-to-video movie. Yes, some of the comedy feels canned and too marketing department-vetted for my taste. But damn if this movie doesn't have charm! Thanks to Lundgren, a game supporting cast, and a terrific pace, this is one entertaining action-comedy. The first 15 minutes or so are surprisingly bland, with a ludicrous action sequence taking place in cheap, darkened sets. But once Lundgren starts interacting with the children, everything clicks into place, making Kindergarten Cop 2 one of the better big studio comedy sequels I've seen in a while. Dare I even say that Kindergarten Cop 2 is better than the original? Well, yes!
The original had Schwarzenegger, director Ivan Reitman, and a big budget, but, for some reason, something about it always felt a bit off to me. Kindergarten Cop 2, although a much more modest effort, is faster, more effective, and, yes, funnier. A must see for fans of the original, 80's action-comedies, and the Dolph.
Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.