21 Jump Street

Undercover School Credits

         
 

16 March 2012| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

For a movie based on a long forgotten TV show, it is tolerable. 21 Jump Street, yet, is already being over-praised just for being better than it was supposed to be according to the bad buzz. Channing Tatum (“The Vow”) and Jonah Hill (“Superbad”) are rookie cops assigned to go back to high school undercover to interrupt a drug endemic. This is a fish out of water story with… potty-mouth words. These two dicks, err, cops make a lot of dick jokes. But it is amusing how these two have converse experiences upon their high school return. The once pudgy dork now fits in with the cool kids. The once joke fits in with the tech geeks. What the movie does have to its benefit is one insanely funny car chase that catches your attention by how non-explosive it is, a school play that goes awry after an actor misses his mark, and a surprise guest cameo appearance.

I also giggled at how stupid Ice Cube’s part was as a police captain issuing the boys’ their assignments, then ultimatums when they mess up. Which is a lot. But how’s this for sight gags: At their secret police base – a church – the boys bow to a Korean Jesus. When they make their first purchase from a drug courier at school, they have to make themselves vomit before they get into the danger of complete inebriated freak-out. Come to think of it, some of this is amusing, isn’t it?

When you walk into “21 Jump Street” you know you’re not getting any nourishment for the soul. You are going to end up digesting stink and filth in your brain. I like cinematic junk food. But this ain’t good enough. Perhaps you like that Hill is playing one of his schlubby bashful guys whose voice cracks in front of girls. Perhaps you like that Tatum is tone-deaf when it comes to comedy. In that case, you’re probably under 21 and you’re still indifferent to feckless entertainment.

Really, watching these two characters find their unlikely niche in social circles while undercover was sometimes a hoot. I was besides myself. But it only took a little time before some self-awareness. I could be watching something more edifying right now. Or I could be watching “The Naked Gun” or “Con Air” which are cases of stupid movies that are clever about being stupid.

Dave Franco, Brie Larson, Rob Riggle, Chris Parnell and the underutilized Ellie Kemper co-star.

104 Minutes. Rated R.

COMEDY-THRILLER / GUILTY PLEASURE / LATE NIGHT THRILLS

Film Cousins: “Dragnet” (1987); “The Mod Squad” (1999); “I Spy” (2002); “The A-Team” (2010).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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