Comic director Ivan Reitman has a field day with this infectious comedy that only goes awry in an alarmingly violent finale that nearly derails all of the fun that's preceded it. Although he has frequently attempted comic roles with limited success, star Arnold Schwarzenegger is a hit here, perhaps because he's lampooning rather than playing against his own muscle-bound, tough guy persona. He's the straight man, allowing the toddlers to take center stage, a generous and unusual creative decision that is mined repeatedly for big laughs. Easily the best scenes in the film feature the star attempting to remain patient with a classroom full of school children, an irresistible idea and the high-concept engine driving the film, which Reitman wisely never forgets. It's only in a climax featuring gunplay and five-year-olds in serious jeopardy that the film strays badly off key, momentarily wrecking the fragile suspension of disbelief that has allowed the Terminator to be seen teaching kids their ABC's. For the majority of its running time, however, Kindergarten Cop (1990) is hilarious and good-natured, an enjoyable frolic that casts an action star with limited artistic range in a creatively different light.