Top critical review
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on 7 August 2014
This brisk change of genre for Arnold Schwarzenegger helps him flex his comedic muscle, quite literally, in a situation that plays to his strength in polar opposites with his co-stars. What could be more entertaining than an indestructible action hero facing off against a classroom of innocent, naïve troublemakers? It proves to be wonderfully entertaining, with a sugar coated gloss running all the way through.
Safe to say there is a far share of adult themes, especially violence and drug abuse. The film blends both the thriller and comedy genre very well, with Schwarzenegger playing both roles as tough cop and vulnerable kindergarten teacher perfectly until they blend together to make the ideal role-model for the children and parents he is involved with. It’s a good character progression, and John Kimble has some of the most famous and quotable lines in Schwarzenegger’s illustrious career.
The mushy romance that blossoms between Schwarzenegger and Miller’s characters is predictable and very soppy in places, but it’s a little factor that helps round out the relationships between the adults and children, each playing a vital part in the story and proving their importance. The strong support from the ever likable Pamela Reed and the love-to-hate him Richard Tyson keeps the danger present at all times and maintains the threat that at times you forget about, much like Kimble, but are reminded of towards the finale that blends strong emotion, touches upon the power of family, and of course a few rounds of gun shots from Kimble.
Granted, the most entertaining moments are inside the kindergarten as teach and class slowly develop their bond in a series of highly amusing conversations, activities and role-play, all pushing Schwarzenegger to his comedic dead-pan limit with wonderfully wry results. It’s a big soft film at heart when you strip away the “villain”, and stands as one of the best comedy films that the Austrian Oak has done thanks to his towering giant brought to his knees by the class of loveable and terrifying children.