Kindergarten Cop 2 doesn’t provoke a lot of reaction. It’s terrible, sure, it’s incompetent in parts, it’s got a lousy script and some really bad acting, but why wouldn’t it? It’s a direct-to-video sequel twenty-six years after the first entry, has nothing to do with the original except in gimmick and concentrates more on fifty-eight year-old lead Dolph Lundgren trying to score with young chicks. Maybe–and it’s a stretch–but maybe it’s interesting in terms of trying to figure out the intended audience. It’s not action fans because director Paul is lousy at the action, especially at the logic of an action scene. Though I suppose editor Vanick Moradian has the best technical effort–far better than photographer Kamal Derkaoui–but it’s not like the action is good. It’s not godawful. At least some of the action, a lot of it is godawful.
Paul has his creepy male gaze shots down, but he doesn’t commit, doesn’t linger. It’s like he’s trying to appeal to the closet perverts in the audience–but Cop 2 is direct-to-video so is it for the dads stuck watching the rented movie? But it’s also not for kids. The kindergarteners have their “cute kid” moments but barely any and Paul’s inept at all those scenes. He’s especially bad at directing the kid actors–stop looking at the camera, Abbie Magnuson! How hard is it to tell her to stop looking directly into the camera.
Maybe if David H. Steinberg weren’t so stupid. But, even then, it’s got terrible acting–Danny Wattley gives one of the worst mean cop boss performances in film history (probably even direct-to-video sequel history)–and no one’s any good. Sarah Strange isn’t completely terrible. Most of the other actors are completely terrible. Like Bill Bellamy and Michael P. Northey. One assumes they’ll leave this one off the CV.
As for Lundgren, in what should be a kind of amusing turn–well, he’s bad. He’s perving on young teacher Darla Taylor while trying to take down a drug kingpin. Taylor and Lundgren don’t have any chemistry, but Lundgren doesn’t have any chemistry with any of his costars. Especially not Bellamy, who’s his partner. A lot of the casting decisions in Kindergarten Cop 2 seem to be based on height in relation to Lundgren, not acting ability.
Though director Paul wouldn’t know what to do with a good actor.
Kindergarten Cop 2 ought to be at least diverting as an abomination of nostalgia and dumb humor. It’s not. It’s boring–a hundred minutes of boring–and incompetent. Did I already mention Steinberg’s script is really dumb?
Directed by Don Michael Paul; screenplay by David H. Steinberg, based on the film written by Timothy Harris, Murray Salem and Herschel Weingrod; director of photography, Kamal Derkaoui; edited by Vanick Moradian; music by Jake Monaco; production designer, Tony Devenyi; produced by Mike Elliot; released by Universal Home Entertainment.
Starring Dolph Lundgren (Reed), Darla Taylor (Olivia), Bill Bellamy (Sanders), Aleks Paunovic (Zogu), Sarah Strange (Miss Sinclaire) and Danny Wattley (Giardello).