REVIEW: 21 Jump Street

Initially before its release, 21 Jump Street had quite a lot of heavy criticism thrown at it. For starters, first glances of theatrical trailers and still images, it had the approach that it would become another colourful Hollywood comedy with a mediocre outcome. Furthermore, it is a feature based on a TV series that was released in the late 1980s which aroused the question of whether the film adaptation will still stick to its original roots or will go somewhere a little different. Finally, the popular but not entirely favorable duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star in the leading role. Still, considering the mixed expectations, 21 Jump Street overcame all the odds that were against it and became a delightful surprise package.

Being one who has not witnessed any of the episodes in the original 21 Jump Street TV series, it is hard to identify and then determine what footsteps from that show still remain within the film adaptation. Still, what we have is that it is still your vintage Hollywood comedy but the story as a whole and how it looked on screen had concepts of sit-coms, an insight into the mind-set of young men progressing from adolescence to adulthood and having to let go. Finally, it contained quite a series of effects that are somewhat related to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Therefore, co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, craft together a film what looks like it is made for television that combines marvellously with comic book and teen comedy concepts and they deserve credit for it, especially after their poor previous film Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.

When seeing Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum individually in other films, you either love or hate them. Casting these two in the shared leading roles were literally two halves of what makes a protagonist in a comedy mostly aimed for teenagers: the clumsy but well-intentioned one (Hill) and the other being handsome eye-candy (Channing Tatum). Still, the duo still provide exactly what they’ve been recognized for over the years but at times, switch in opposite directions. Hill, who had amazingly lost so much weight after his previously obese appearance, became a cool guy as Morton Schmidt/Doug McQuaid and was the more romantic character. Despite this, trails from his past comedies were still within 21 Jump Street as we still got the laughs and catastrophes. Channing Tatum, quite possibly the biggest piece of male eye-candy in Hollywood today transforms the most as he not only rarely took on a role in a comedy but also was the more sensible and geekier character. His performance as Greg Jenko/Brad McQuaid is undoubtedly his best to date and has revolutionized a new side of acting to him.

Further amongst the cast is Ice Cube – another actor who viewers will either praise or despise, whose tables are turned in a role that is quite possibly his best to date. His performance as Captain Dickson is, of course, completely idiotic but we are introduced to a very likable character that both honoured and mocked the power and authority of the police. In addition, Brie Larson portrayed Schmidt/McQuaid’s “fellow classmate” and love interest Molly Tracey in a typical girly girl performance, and Dave Franco, the younger brother of James Franco, made an impressive presence too. Finally, be prepared for a surprise cameo appearance from one of Hollywood’s greatest stars.

Overall, 21 Jump Street goes beyond anything that you would initially expect from it as it is truly one of the biggest surprises that you will see in 2012, or maybe even of all time. There are comedies similar to 21 Jump Street that only tend to focus on the laughs and nothing more, but we engage with them in that sense, we are emotionally attached to them, it has exciting action and in the case of some viewers, it is a good eye-candy feature too. Therefore, whether it is an intended reboot of the original TV show or not,21 Jump Street is still a solid comedy that has proved its potential to be the start of a successful series.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 06/09/2012.

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