Wednesday, April 4, 2012

21 Jump Street

Directed by Phil Lord & Chris Miller, Columbia Pictures, 2012.

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

Genre: Action, Comedy.

Question: Did you think I would review this film? Well, I did not. In fact, I flat out said I was NOT going to review it, but I couldn't keep ignoring all the chatter about how 21 Jump Street was surprisingly good. And now I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I need to stop presuming the worst when I see a preview. Yeah, I said that.

To be completely honest, when I saw the trailer for 21Jump Street, and I saw it several times because I didn't think I would end up seeing the movie, I immediately thought, "That's not how the TV show was. It wasn't a comedy, goof-ball, buddy genre. Pass." Yes, I watched the original show and really enjoyed it. It was on while I was in high school so I was smack dab in the middle of the perfect demographic. Plus, I thought Johnny Depp was a fox (and still do)! So with that confession out the way, seeing Channing Tatum (who ain't too shabby) and Jonah Hill as an odd couple lead characters I was turned off. But I saw it anyway. Well, I must say the pairing worked and made the film a decent one. 

First, let me say that both actors have slowly become more appealing with their recent projects and as I view them in films. Jonah Hill was fantastic in Moneyball and Channing Tatum was down-right adorable in The Vow. I have become fans of theirs now and you know what happens then? All bets are off and I will probably see most, if not all, of their film from now on. (Yes, I have seen some of their other work).

Second, although the script is vastly different than the TV show the writers took an approach to tell the high school undercover cop tale that I wasn't expecting. What was it? Well, I am NOT going to tell you except to give you a hint and say: opposite. That's it. It’s my only clue. It was brilliant and why I think another reason 21 Jump Street worked.

Finally, back to the actors, Tatum and Hill. I mentioned that the pairing of the two completely different personas matched up well. As they say, opposites attract and it's true here. Jonah Hill plays the nerdy, over-achiever, low self-esteem-just-wanting-to-be-liked-and-fit-in character. And Channing Tatum, charmingly, pulls off the overly confident, not-so-bright, athletic character. They knew of each other in high school and then meet again at the police academy later in life and end up as partners. The balance of what the other lacked or needed was artfully, albeit somewhat juvenile and moronically portrayed at times, calibrated.

Would people of my parents' generations like this film? Probably not. It wasn't made for them in mind. It was made for today’s youth and the nostalgia-seeking generation that I am currently in. Just to let you all know - this paragraph is laced with hints - hints on what? Well, I am not gonna say but read it carefully as I never leave hints like this - ever!

My favorite thing: Well, if I told you it might ruin something for those who will see it.

My least favorite thing: That during one scene I was laughing so hard and trying not to throw up all at the same time.

Rating: R
Length: 109 minutes

Review: 6 out of 10

For my review on Moneyball or The Vow - click on the movie titles.

21 Jump Street (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) - Instant, DVD, Buy


Janene said...

I so, SO loved this film. Jill and Tatum made such a fun duo and I laughed so hard during most of it. The line about 'Glee' was worth the price of admission alone.

Tired of Previews said...

Thanks for the comment, Janene. Yep, this one surprised me. I found myself giggling a lot in this one and totally wasn't expecting to. Yes, they make a great pair - hope they do another one! :-)