After numerous fruitless attempts, the veteran LAPD Detective, John Kimble, has one last chance to put behind bars once and for all the elusive drug kingpin, Cullen Crisp, who is trying to find the whereabouts of his son and his ex-wife who run away with millions of dollars. In high hopes of picking up clues, the massive officer finds himself at a bustling elementary school in Astoria, Oregon, posing as a substitute kindergarten teacher; however, to keep up the ruse without blowing his cover, John must keep under control a noisy classroom full of intimidating five-year-old adversaries. Can Kimble show them who's boss?Written by
Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that when he first started working with the kids he "was sweating. I felt like the character in the movie." See more »
The children of Kimble's class misquote the Gettysburg Address as OUR FOREFATHERS; the correct line is OUR FATHERS. See more »
Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina.
Well, I see you've covered the basics.
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Film title logo appears at the end of the closing credits See more »
The UK cinema version was cut by 19 secs by the BBFC for a 12 certificate with edits to footage of: a woman being slapped in the face, a head-butt, a man's head being hit against a car door, a baseball attack on a woman being reduced to one hit and the subsequent sight of the bat aimed at her midriff, and a reduction in gunshots (from 5 to 2). The cuts were fully restored in the 15 rated video release. See more »
John Kimble is a lonely, driven cop who has been tracking drug lord Cullen Crisp for years. When he finally catches him, the case requires the testimony of Crisp's ex-wife who has disappeared. Kimble and his partner O'Hara follow the only lead they have to find the wife - the name of a school in Oregon where she has been seen. When O'Hara gets sick, Kimble has to fill in on his hardest undercover assignment yet - as a kindergarten teacher.
Looking back on it, this was one of several films that saw Schwarzenegger opening up his resume to become more than just an action star. Here the film plays on his personae as a tough guy (as all his comedies do), and it works pretty well all said. The plot mixes comedy and a thriller element reasonably well without doing either that well. The comedy relies on cute kids doing things and Arnold looking out of place in the school. While it is rarely laugh out loud funny, it is still inoffensive and amusing. The thriller element is average and never really convinces as bookends on a comedy.
While neither strand works that well, they both shine like stars when viewed next to a romantic subplot that at best is unconvincing and at worst is lazy and smaltzy. It is written with so much convenience and ease that it never convinces and the film stutters for it's inclusion. Schwarzenegger is OK in the lead role - he doesn't need a real comic touch here because he is just playing his usual role but in a different setting, that brings the comedy (such as it is) rather than his performance. Reed is cheeky and pretty funny, Miller is just quite plain and never really makes me believe the romantic subplot. Tyson is a pretty poor baddie, while Baker is just plain poor.
Overall this is a pretty average film that has just about enough going for it to be entertaining even if it doesn't really excel itself as either a comedy or a thriller. Some reasonable laughs and the chance to see the Governor of California sending himself up.
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