Sunday, 15 April 2012

Film Review: "21 Jump Street" (2012)

"We're reviving a canceled undercover police program from the '80s and revamping it for modern times. You see the guys in charge of this stuff lack creativity and are completely out of ideas, so all they do now is recycle shit from the past and expect us all not to notice." This is exactly what 21 Jump Street brings to the big screen. This action comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It serves as a loose sequel to the 1987 television series 21 Jump Street by Stephen J. Cannell. The film is about a pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.

In May 2008, Columbia Pictures confirmed that a film adaptation of the series was under development. Jonah Hill rewrote an existing script by screenwriter Joe Gazzam and executive produced the film, as well as starred in the film. Hill has said he wanted horror director Rob Zombie to direct the picture. In May 2009, Hill described the film adaptation as being a "R-rated, insane, Bad Boys-meets-John Hughes-type movie". On December 21, 2009, it was announced that Columbia Pictures were in talks with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2010) directing duo, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, to direct the film. The film follows the same continuity as the TV series; Lord said, "So, all of those events of the original happened. And now here we are 20 years later, and we’re watching it happen to different people." However, the film features a highly comedic tone, departing radically from the more dramatic and earnest tone of the series.

The film stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. The performances in the film were all held together by the two main lead actors Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko. Their performances were surprisingly funny, ridiculous, different and yet familiar to the original characters from the original TV series. Jonah Hill plays the nerdy, self concious cop while Channing Tatum plays the "dumb jock." There were also some familiar faces such as Brie Larson, Ice Cube, and most of all Johnny Depp, Richard Grieco and Peter DeLuise as their characters from the original TV series in cameo appearances.

21 Jump Street is hugely funny, but it`s also liberating-precisely because it centers its aim on the vital relationship between two guys and blows it apart. The straight lines are shattered; the empty spaces in the images are packed full until they burst. To conclude, it gave me about 10 big laughs and 20 small laughs and as many smiles. That`s value for time and money spent. For those who savor silliness, this movie is humor heaven. The determinedly juvenile gags never stop flowing. It is destined to become a cult comedy classic. If the holiday run doesn`t make a bundle, the returns on DVDs will.

Simon says 21 Jump Street receives:

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