- Directors: Ivan Reitman
- Producers: Brian Grazer, Ivan Reitman
- Writers: Murray Salem, Hershel Weingrod, Timothy Harris
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Thriller
- Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed
The taciturn, stubborn, autocratic, violent Police Detective John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has pursued drug dealer Cullen Crisp (Richard Tyson) for years. He finally arrests Crisp for murder, but is unable to convict him due to the refusal of a witness named Cindy to identify the killer. After Kimble psychologically humbles Cindy, Crisp is identified in a police line-up. Kimble, accompanied by Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Pamela Reed), is then ordered to go undercover in Astoria, Oregon, to find Crisp’s ex-wife Rachel and their son, who are hiding from him, and offer her a deal to testify against Cullen. Since their appearance is not known to them, O’Hara is to act as the substitute teacher of the son’s kindergarten class at Astoria Elementary School while Kimble has to track down the identity of the mother, who is believed to have stolen money from Crisp.
Unfortunately, O’Hara, who is hypoglycemic, gets a terrible case of the stomach flu and falls ill at the last moment. Kimble therefore takes the teacher’s job, much to the suspicion of the school principal, Miss Schlowski (Linda Hunt). Despite having no teaching experience â€” and thus initially collapsing beneath the stressâ€”Kimble soon adapts progressively to his new status. Using his tame ferret as a class pet, his police training as a model for structure of the classes, fun games such as “Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do?”, and positive reinforcement, he becomes a much-admired and cherished figure to the children despite the aggravation they bring him. In turn, Kimble begins to love his cover job and his young charges, even to the point of manhandling an abusive father whose son Zach attends Kimble’s class.
While Kimble recovers, he comes back to the school to visit his kindergarten classroom. While he is visiting, Joyce sees him and kisses him in front of all the kids. / Other Reviewers have said the Kimble returns as a full time teacher of his Kindergarten class, and leaves the police force. This is due to the fact that O’Hara needs to ask where to send the wedding invite (California or Astoria), even though his assignment in Astoria has finished. And also, when the school principal (Linda Hunt) says to Kimble as he re-enters the classroom “They’re all yours”, and hands him his teaching whistle, whereupon Kimble is given a hearty welcome back by Phoebe and his pupils.