MT At The Movies

MOVIE REVIEW: 21 JUMP STREET

21 Jump Street

Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Screenplay: Michael Bacall

Cast:

Jonah Hill as Schmidt
Channing Tatum as Jenko
Brie Larson as Molly Tracey
Dave Franco as Eric Molson
Rob Riggle as Mr. Walters
DeRay Davis as Domingo
Ice Cube as Captain Dickson

TRT: 109 minutes, (R)  for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence

Peacock Feathers: 3 1/2 out of 5

By: Marcus Thorpe

Initial Thought:

Did any of you see Starsky & Hutch?  I had some real high hopes for this remake.  I wanted it to be funny, I wanted it to have a lot of action, I wanted a good story, and you got very little of any of that.  So when I heard that 21 Jump Street was coming to the big screen, my first thought was, “Here we go again!“  Then I started to watch it, I started to laugh out loud, I got the action, I like the characters, I thought the story was pretty strong the entire time through.  I’m pretty sure we could have gone without a 21 Jump Street movie, but to tell you the truth, I’m really glad they decided to dust it off and make this one!

Plot:

Schmidt and Jenko couldn’t be more opposite.  One is a tough guy, good looking, but dumb as a box of rocks.  The other is short, weak, but brighter than the other bulbs in the package.  They know each other in high school, and were anything but friends.  Fast forward a few years and they find themselves in the same police recruit line.  Again their differences show big time.  Jenko is kicking butt and taking names in the physical side of things, but falls short on the testing part.  Schmidt can’t run, can’t shoot, but gets straight A’s.  They work together to make each other better and eventually get paired up together on the force.  After making an arrest that goes terribly wrong, mostly because they celebrate by shooting their guns in the air, and not reading the suspect his rights, they get reassigned off the streets on undercover on Jump Street.  They are asked to go into a high school, find the person who is selling the drugs, and lead them eventually to who is making the drugs.  What they find themselves in, nerdy is cool, sensitive is cool, rough and tough and loud and abrasive is not.  So these two polar opposites are now living opposite existence in this new age of high school.  Turns out the sensitive kids are the ones causing the trouble.  Can they get close enough to the people they need to without getting swept up in high school life, and can they do it without having their cover blown.

Acting:

There are two Jonah Hill’s.  There is the loud, swearing every other word, and then there is the one that was nominated for an Oscar in Money Ball.  In 21 Jump Street, you get the best of both Hill’s.  There are times where Hill’s mouth opens and the language will make you blush, then there are times where he turns on you, and it makes you realize this guy has some real talent.  First and foremost, Hill is funny, and he is really funny here.  Tatum also shows you he is much more than just muscle and good looks.  He can really act, and he is tested here in some spots to go outside the box and challenge himself.  Again it goes back to, can he really act, and he shows you time and time again, that he can.  What sets the movie apart from plenty of other really terrible films of this genre; the kids in the movie can act, and at times carry the film.  Brie Larson and Dave Franco are the high school seniors caught up in the drama that is high school.  But they act all grown up in their acting, they don’t bring the story down, in fact they pump life into it every time they are on screen.  Is there any better goofy actor out there right now that Rob Riggle.  That guy is a crack-up, and in 21 Jump Street he doesn’t disappoint.  He plays the track coach, who pops in and out of screen, but leaves you wanting more.

Direction & Writing:

Usually the Achilles Heel of a movie like this, here it is the main course and it is tasty!  The editing is slick and fast paced, the story is solid if not spectacular in some spots, and each character is fully developed from the nerds, to the cool kids to the police officers, to the cops in charge.  The script writing actually makes you laugh out loud; they find what works and keep going back to it.  The movie isn’t really long, another landmine that usually sinks movies like this.  They go in, make you laugh and move on, what more could you ask? 

Overall:

21 Jump Street jump started the career of Johnny Depp.  It was on for several years and developed a very loyal viewer base week after week.  Was it really a great show, no, but it knew what it did best and never shied away from that.  That is the beauty of 21 Jump Street the movie.  Fast paced, as slick as you’ll see when it comes to a movie packaged like this, but most importantly it was very funny from start to finish.  Are there some flaws, of course, but the key is none of them are fatal.  And the ending gives you a little wink at the past, and a nod to the future, a place I didn’t think I really ever wanted to get into with 21 Jump Street, but I’m glad I did!

MT

Want to see movies where I do??  Check out showtimes to the Arena Grand at http://www.arenagrand.com by clicking the link!

So what did you think?  Comment on my blog, or give the movie your grade below!

image Posted by  on 03/16 at 01:57 PM

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