Saturday, June 30, 2012

21 Jump Street

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

21 Jump Street - 5 out of 5

We've all heard the criticism about how Hollywood has run out of ideas.  Sequels and prequels, remakes and reboots--what is a person to do?  Is it possible to make an original film anymore?  21 Jumps proves it is.

He's fat again.  That sounded mean.  He's not this skinny anymore.

Despite the fact the film is based on a terrible television show from the 80s, the filmmakers behind this gem (like directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and writers Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill) prove it's possible to take an adaptation and go into a new direction with it.  Forgoing the drama route of the show, the film becomes a comedy that's completely self-aware that it is in the territory of other cliche garbage films and decides to openly acknowledge itself with brilliant meta-gags that break the fourth wall alongside its collection of smart, witty and absurd humor.

I laugh like this, it's creepy.  Channing Tatum laughs like this, women need to
change their panties.  The world is unfair.

After a new drug is discovered and on the verge of taking over the youths of the community, two painfully bad cops (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum) are picked to go undercover in a high school to break the lid off the dealers and get to the suppliers.  Our bumbling officers soon learn that they have yet to outgrow the torments of their own high school days and it seems that a powerful new drug is the least of their worries.

I look like this, people say I'm listening intently.  Channing Tatum looks like this,
women need to change their panties.  I now want to be Channing Tatum.

This movie is hilarious.  How hilarious?  I started to cry several times from laughing so hard and I laughed so often that I literally laughed myself exhausted.  The movie is vulgar but its use of vulgarity is as majestic as it's use of some of the best satire I've ever seen of the action genre.  

This about sums up the film...

I tried to come up with a caption for this pic but couldn't think
of anything but pointing out it says "Hall" above the door
in the background.
Even more impressive than the laughs this movie generates is how well the cast is able to perform in order to manufacture those laughs.  Jonah Hill, after a series of disappointing and cookie-cutter cliche movies where he plays the same character, returns to the glory that gave him purpose to rise in the ranks of playing the same character over and over again and Channing Tatum...I've always been very critical of Tatum because--let's face it--he can't act.  However, Tatum proves everyone (especially me) wrong as he gives the performance of a lifetime.  Seriously, Tatum proves he's got the chops in this one and quickly becomes a show stealer...something I never thought I would say about Channing Tatum.

Ice Cube...this movie gave you your street cred back after Are We There Yet? and
XXX:  State of the Union stole it from you.

But the funny doesn't just come from one man as the entire cast delivers in a big way.  Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Chris Parnell and Nick Offerman all come in to provide hilarious side characters alongside cameos from the original series' stars.  Even Ice Cube and James Franco's incredibly less talented little brother--two men I don't find to be very good actors--did stellar jobs and were both entertaining.

Yes Dave Franco, you'll never be as good as your brother.

21 Jump Street could have been on of the thousands of examples of a phoned-in adaptation that has polluted our cinemas and DVD players for years but thanks to phenomenal writing and acting, the film did what Hollywood executives usually hate...it became something unique, original and fun. 

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