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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

21 JUMP STREET Movie Review By: RAMA

 21 JUMP STREET Movie Review

So how did RAMA think this movie compared to the T.V. show? Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

I had my doubts about this, because I grew up watching the original series and so the idea for the movie version to go raunchy comedy instead of serious drama, was a bit off-putting at first. But 21 JUMP STREET proves me wrong. Jonah Hill and screenwriter Michael Bacall’s sense of humor targets those of us who loved Superbad. And Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller clearly were having a blast with the drug jokes, teen party, and the F-bombs and other juvenile mishaps, the movie is filled with one relevant pop culture reference after another. 21 JUMP STREET may not be consistently funny but it has all the elements of an exciting buddy cop comedy. And the surprise cameos by some of the notable faces from the original series, (SPOILER ALERT!) Holly Robinson Pete, Peter DeLouise, and Johnny Depp make the movie all the more special…

In the action-comedy, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are more than ready to leave their adolescent problems behind. Joining the police force and the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school. As they trade in their guns and badges for backpacks, Schmidt and Jenko risk their lives to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring. But they find that high school is nothing like they left it just a few years earlier ­and neither expects that they will have to confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all the issues they thought they had left behind.

The original series 21 JUMP STREET was basically about undercover cops handling youth crime, plain and simple, I remember it being a character driven story. The movie, though R-rated comedy, does a damn good job to respect that. It seems as if Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters find themselves in the same division that Depp and the gang used to work in back in the ’80s but times have changed now, leadership has changed, even the hierarchy and what’s considered cool and not cool in high schools have changed.

2 people from different backgrounds, one’s a jock, the other is a nerd, are forced to become friends in the Police Academy when they discover that they could progress if they’d just help each other out. They think being cops are being 24/7 badasses everyday, little do they know that most of the duties require patrolling and paperwork and routines, things that they don’t care too much for.
21 JUMP STREET’s comedy plays on stereotype but not in a mean, tasteless way, it’s more playful and like a wink and a nudge. The jock, played by Tatum, is a handsome devil but an airhead. The nerd, played by Hill, is a bit heavy and insecure. The perfect odd couple.

The comedy could get outrageous, it’s got different steps or levels of drug effects and some of the scenes do drag a bit, the investigation is not too complex, but the script is surprisingly well-structured, I said surprisingly because I was just expecting the worst. Both the jock and the nerd finally get themselves to tap into a side of themselves they never knew they had all along.

If you don’t think Hill deserved his Oscar nod for Moneyball, you’d think twice before making that argument the next time, because the dude is hella talented, he’s a young actor who responds to his role positively no matter how dumb the role would require him to behave. Tatum’s comedic timing comes with him being able to confidently stand in the middle of confusion and awkwardness, he probably channels some of that from being considered a hunk by ladies in real life on a daily basis.

Ice Cube as the loud, hot-head Lieutenant is a treat to watch, the same goes for Brie Larson who I’m betting will surely but slowly become the next starlet, you just wait and see.
The movie pays homage to the series, it doesn’t disrespect it at all, in fact, the cameos by the original stars serve as a way for them to say goodbye to their old roles and pass the torch on to Hill and Tatum; to wish them well. This is one comedy that gets me hoping for a sequel.

GRADE: 4 out of 5

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