Movie Review: 21 Jump Street

Posted: March 24, 2012 in movie reviews, movies
Tags: , , , , ,

The screen faded to black. The credits rolled. And the first thing that came to my mind after it was all over?:….Well, that just happened….

21 Jump Street

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Brie Lawson, Dave Franco, Ellie Kemper

I knew I wasn’t going to like 21 Jump Street. I knew it. I severly dislike Jonah Hill (Oscar nominee or not) and I’m not a big fan of Channing Tatum. Yet for some reason unbeknowest to me, I’ve grown this weird obsession with Tatum’s strange face charming charisma. Maybe it was partly his performance in The Vow, and maybe it’s, well, those ABS! But whatever it is, I feel like all of Channing’s comedic potential, and the potential of the movie were overshadowed by mediocre dialogue, way over the top characters, and off color, borderline offensive, and random jokes.

Premise: Jenko (Tatum) has the looks and the brawn but lacks the brains, Schmidt (Hill) has the brains, but lacks, well everything else. In high school these two were rivals, but now they are best friends, helping each other get through a rough police academy. When they essentially wash out of the program, they are transferred to 21 Jump Street where they must go undercover as high school students to bust a potential drug ring going on at one of the local high schools. However, the good looking Jenko, and the dorky Schmidt find themselves in reverse roles and are unsure as how to hand this new and weird situation.

My Review: You know when you’re at a party and there’s \ that one guy who tells these random jokes that he and maybe a few key choice friends think are HILARIOUS, but everyone else just kinda laughs because there’s nothing else to do, when in fact they are thinking, what the hell just happened? Who is this guy? That’s how I felt while watching this movie. I didn’t know if it was funny, strange, weird, offensive, or well, just plain ridiculously stupid.

Though 90% of this movie was ridiculously stupid, it wasn’t all a complete waste of time. The movie was at its best when it was creatively original. Making Schmidt the dorky loser kid brother type one of the popular kids and the not smart, but good looking Jenko one of the nerds was pretty genius and brought some great comedic moments for Tatum. The movie worked the best when Jenko and Schmidt were interacting with the high school students. Tatum and Hill had great chemistry with Brie Lawson and Dave Franco (the latter who looked most like a high school student, mind you). And those scenes where Jenko was dealing with being unpopular was pretty fun to watch.

Where it failed was any situation dealing with the police, interactions with the over the top principal (Rob Riggle), the horny teacher (Ellie Kemper), that weird ending, and, of course, Korean Jesus. I’m sorry but none of those scenes, situations, ideas were original or funny. In fact the funniest lines were the throw away lines, that take you a few seconds to sink in because the camera had cut away and it was so subtle. Even in the end Frano was reduced to a lame, cartoonish character reminiscent of his brother’s characteristics.

I was hesitant about seeing this movie in the first place, but after such good reviews from critics and my friends, I had changed my mind. I should have stuck with my gut. The best part about this movie was Channing Tatum, and even he wasn’t at his best. I’m sure this movie would be hilarious if you were stoned, but other than that I like my comedies and movies, for that matter, with a little more thought put into it, rather than a mixed bag of randomness that isn’t very funny.


Rating: 1 ½ stars. (1/2 star for Tatum, ½ star for the creative plot twist, ½ star for the surprise guest Depp – He’s always welcome!)






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