Who can forget the classic line, "It's not a tum-ah"? It has been quoted for over 30 years, ever since John Kimball (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator) uttered those words in the hit comedy Kindergarten Cop. With an implausible plot and a hilarious script, the 1990 film showed audiences a different side of the muscular, Austrian bodybuilder turned actor. At the time it was seen as one of his more animated roles, especially one that didn't include a ton of action. Fans of the actor and the film will be especially excited to find out Kino Lorber has made it available for purchase in 4K for the first time.
Detective Kimball had been tracking drug dealer Crisp (Richard Tyson; Black Hawk Down) for years with very little luck. However, when one of his underlings finds out Crisp's estranged wife, Joyce (Penelope Ann Miller; Relic), is hiding out in Oregon, Kimball and Detective O'Hara (Pamela Reed; Proof of Life) go to Joyce's son's school to ask her to testify against Crisp. Planning to portray a substitute teacher in the school, O'Hara comes down with the flu and Kimball must become the substitute in her place.
This was one of Schwarzenegger's more diverse roles to date, showcasing the actor's talent in more than just action sequences. He shows a range of emotions, from romance to sympathy, anger, and fear, and recites his more comedic lines well. Miller is good and seemed to show a lot of promise here but didn't do a ton of acting after this. Reed and Schwarzenegger are paired well as "buddy" cops who become friends despite his initial reluctance to have a partner.
The Dolby Vision video quality shows a vast improvement from the 2014 Blu-ray release but there are still some issues with color correction and sharpness of details. The darker moments seem a bit grainy, and the colors don't pop but, again, still better than the Blu-ray quality. Even the red tones of the paint the kids use to paint the blackboard are flat and lifeless.
If the video quality could use some improvement, the audio quality could use a major overhaul. Again, better than the 2.0 audio from the previous Blu-ray release, but not great. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 gives some subtle variations of tones but is somewhat muffled in spots and doesn't tend to have much depth or layering throughout the 111-minute run time.
The package comes with the new 4K disc and the Blu-ray disc. Unfortunately, it's missing the copious amounts of extras we usually get from Kino Lorber, which is a little surprising. The extras consist of Audio Commentary featuring Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Josh Nelson, Audio Commentary featuring historian Samm Deighan, Theatrical Trailer, KLSC Trailer Gallery: Face/Off, Hard Target, 2 Days in the Valley, Ronin, Stone Cold, Bird on a Wire, Out of Sight, The Usual Suspects, and Mystery Men
Kindergarten Cop also hasn't aged well and is firmly embedded in the late 1980s - early 1990s with broad shoulder pads and bright, striking, geometric patterns. However, many of the jokes still land and are very funny. The kids are adorable and there are a couple that I recognize from other films as well. The plot has a slight twist to it but otherwise isn't especially unique or original.
Director Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) was known for comedies and created some of the best of the 1980s. His stamp is marked all over Kindergarten Cop which is a good thing as it probably would have been a very different movie in another director's hands.
I recommend buying this as the movie is worth watching once every five or so years and this is the best quality reproduction to date.