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Movie Review

Tommy Lee Jones is once again playing—you guessed it—Tommy Lee Jones. This time his weathered, wily, there’s-a-soft-spot-somewhere-in-there shtick takes him undercover as a cheerleading coach.

Here's how it happens: A key informant on a criminal case has been assassinated, and the only witnesses are five University of Texas cheerleaders. Their happenstance puts them in harm’s way, so somebody's got to protect them. Who gets the job? Roland Sharp, a hardnosed workaholic Texas Ranger. But there’s a problem: Roland hates cheerleaders.

With Roland monitoring the cheerleaders’ every move, the rambunctious girls suddenly find their wild ways handcuffed. It’s a no-win situation until a near-death experience scares some maturity into the girls. Gradually, their attitudes do a 180. (Roland, Roland, he's our man, if Roland can't save us, nobody can!) And when the toughened cop’s daughter is put at risk, it's their turn to help him. Are they up to the task? Or will the pyramid fall flat?

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Positive Elements

Cheerleaders risk their lives to help Roland save his daughter. They learn to love and appreciate Roland, encouraging him to reconnect with his daughter. He obliges, and tries to make amends for his absence in his daughter's life. The two ultimately confess their love for each other.

Roland tries to make the girls wear less-revealing clothes. (His rule is somehow forgotten for the entire second half of the movie.) He also points out how wrong plagiarism is to a girl who’s cheated on a term paper, then commends her when she rewrites one herself. While debating whether or not to lie to investigators, one girl asks, “If we don’t do the right thing, how can we expect others to do the same thing?” During a reflective moment, Roland tells a girl about his admiration for his female police partner, admitting his initial chauvinistic attitude.

Spiritual Content

Roland calls on the help of Percy Stevens, an ex-con turned minister who “got religion while in the can.” Percy continually reminds the officer that he’s “doing the Lord’s business.” It’s important to note, however, that virtually everything he does goes against Christian values. The self-proclaimed “prophet” lies on various occasions, uses his position as a cover and manipulates his congregation into giving more money. He refers to The O’Jays as “the three wise men” while a gospel choir sings “Hallelujah” and the song “Hustle on Up for Jesus” plays in the background. At one point, he quotes John 8:7 (“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”) to squeeze out of a sticky situation.

During a pep rally, Roland ends his motivational speech by saying, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” Talking about the incident, one cheerleader jokes that she thought he was going to start speaking in tongues. A girl reprimands a friend for using harsh language in a church.

Sexual Content

Lots of skimpy, tight-fitting outfits that reveal lots of cleavage and get lots of stares from older men. The camera zooms in and lingers on a coed bending over (we see her panties). A flirty cheerleader fondles her (clothed) breasts, knowing that a handful of Rangers are ogling her. She also hits on Roland repeatedly, at times making suggestive comments. Parts of the cheerleaders' dance routines are sexually suggestive.

The girls justify their immodest dress by saying, "[We're] maximizing our assets. ... We want to be realistic, not Amish.” In compromising with Roland about what they can wear, a cutout of a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader is used to display what body parts should be covered.

Roland stumbles into a bathroom which is filled with drying lingerie. A girl complains about not being able to have phone sex with her boyfriend. Another references a sexual organ to describe her favorite style of music, then repeats the term over and over to spite Roland. A teacher asks Roland if he’s sleeping with the cheerleaders. Remarks are made about ruthless killers being "sexy." Crude terms are assigned to sexual activities and body parts.

Violent Content

A couple of men get shot in the head (offscreen) from point-blank range, one of which involves several firings. (A headshot photo of his corpse is shown later.) An assassin shoots two police officers and another man, and later holds several people at gunpoint. Roland fires at a nearby assailant, and we see bullet holes in the victim’s chest (but little blood). He shoots another already bloodied man in the hand.

A witness on the run sets fire to a warehouse, which causes a large explosion. A van wired with a bomb does the same. Car chases involve a few crashes, a rollover, a man getting hit and lots of bullets flying. In a pool hall, an overzealous Texas fan roughs up one of the cheerleaders. He ends up getting kicked, slapped and pummeled. At the urging of his drinking buddies, a college guy swings from a roof into a kiddie pool, crashing through a fence on his way. Roland tackles a rival college’s mascot. Percy crashes through a table.

Crude or Profane Language

Five s-words. God’s name is misused half-a-dozen times (once with “d--n“), while Christ’s name is uttered inappropriately twice. There are around 30 other mild profanities.

Drug and Alcohol Content

A neighbor offers marijuana to undercover cops (it’s not shown). Roland’s romantic interest brings a bottle of wine over for dinner. He refuses a drink, but she has a glass and jokes about his drunken days. Beer bottles are scattered throughout a pool hall scene.

Other Negative Elements

Roland lies to his date about girls being at his house. Various cheerleaders lie to cover their teammates’ tracks. One talks about stealing cars and spending time in a juvenile detention center. She also jokes to Roland about shooting one of her teammates. The veteran officer retrieves Percy’s cell phone from a cow’s backside.

Conclusion

Kindergarten Cop has grown up and gone coed, which not only means more grown-up viewers but also more "adult" content. Is it just me, or is the premise of an older man "shacked up" with five busty cheerleaders in uniform—one of whom seriously wants to be involved with him—kind of creepy? Sure, Roland leans toward the protective, fatherly type. But his good intentions are undermined by scenes that linger on him buying tampons or finding the girls’ underwear in his bathroom. Along with that, most of his assistants’ and peers’ screen time is devoted to ogling.

While the outfits of Roland's five young charges may be a tad distracting to him within the context of the story, they’ll have most guys in attendance forgetting entire segments of dialogue. The movie makes a half-hearted statement about immodesty via the “old school” Roland telling the girls to cover up. But it's lip service only, and it's quickly forgotten.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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