Friday, March 16, 2012

21 Jump Street (2012)

Starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ice Cube and Rob Riggle

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Release Date: March 16th, 2012

Based on the 1987-1991 drama starring Johnny Depp, this reboot comedy takes a humorous take not only on the original series, but on cop "action" shows, high school dynamics, and youth culture. No, seriously.

 Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and Tatum, respectively) were once high school students with little in common; one an unpopular geek while the other is a meat-headed jock. Soon, these mismatched pair become police officers looking to stop bad guys while not adhering to basic rules, like reading a suspect the Miranda Rights correctly. Once they fail to stop a drug bust, they become the latest officers in an undercover squad designed to infiltrate crimes committed in the local high schools. Their first assignment: find the maker and supplier of a new drug with fatal results. Schmidt and Jenko may not be the best cops, but they'll do the job their way.

To be completely honest, I had low expectations of this movie. The trailers were lack luster and I had never seen the original series. However, I am a fan of farcical cop shows like Reno 911 and I did see that Hill was credited as a screenwriter and had faith due to his talents as a comedian. So, what did I think about 21 Jump Street?

21 Jump Street  surprised me, in that I enjoyed its crude and yet hilarious sense of humor. Instead of making the movie into a humorless, straight adaptation of the TV series, the film acknowledges its roots but still pokes jabs at the source material in a harmless way. In addition, the film does a lot of great scenes that showcase the mindset of what high school was for those out of it and what high school is like now. For example, Schmidt and Jenko start identifying the different cliques in the high school parking lot, but are soon dumbstruck when trying to label a group of hipsters. Then, we see our bumbling heroes try to relieve or outdo their own high school experiences. Obviously, it's not a major factor of why audiences will like the movie, but I enjoyed these moments in the plot. In terms of funniest moments, one of the best for me is when Schmidt and Jenko first try HFS, the new drug.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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