Saturday, 21 April 2012

21 Jump Street

 Rating: ★★★

Damn – what a film. 21 Jump Street is the first film I've laughed out loud at for a while. I don't know about everyone else but I was starting to get really bored with wannabe Hangover and Superbad films that were just vulgar for the sake of it and showed all the real jokes in the trailer. Other than one or two occasions 21 Jump Street was nothing like that.

21 Jump Street is based on an 80's TV show staring Johnny Depp. Yes, Johnny Depp. It is about two undercover policemen who, because they look young, have to pretend to be high school students and investigate youth crime. Unlike the TV show, the film is a comedy and stars Jonah Hill as the smart yet embarrassing Schmidt and Channing Tatum as the athletic yet stupid Jenko.

Who would have guessed that Channing, star of Step Up, would be so funny? He was pretty much on the same level as Jonah who is famous for his comedic talent. Channing was especially hilarious in the scene in which the pair take a really strong drug to prove to the students that they aren't cops. Tatum ends up running into the school band practice and tries to dive through a gong. It had me screaming with laughter and I don't normally find slap stick that funny. Channing is having a very good year so far as his career goes from strength to strength.

21 Jump Street also breaks a lot of the social norms that other teen movies have tried so hard to set up. For example, the idea that the popular kids are mean and elitist by nature or that the smart kids are constantly unhappy. This film has gone for a much more realistic and up to date view of the social structure in high school. Which is a lot more relaxed and friendly. I think this is one of the things that made the film such a success. That it isn't the bored, cliched plot we've seen before in hundreds of high school based movies. 21 Jump Street would have been very similar to Never Been Kissed if they hadn't made it this way.

The other actors in 21 Jump Street are also very watchable and funny. Dave Franco is funny but in a less odious way and Brie Larson has a similar acting style to Emma Stone. She's  charming and yet sarcastic. All together, the film has a great cast of actors.

I was not a fan of Ice Cube's character of the perpetually pissed-off police chief. He just seemed a little too stereotypical to be funny for me. He sometimes made me laugh but mostly just reminded me of the kind of humour I've seen in Hangover and other male comedies. I've seen it before and I don't wanna see it again.

I personally love it when a comedy has some heart as well as laughs. And 21 Jump Street had the perfect balance. The bromance between Jenko and Schmidt is quite touching. The romantic scenes, between Schmidt and the popular girl, are really quirky and sweet.

Over all 21 Jump Street deserved to beat John Carter in the box office because it is funny, colourful and fresh. I loved it and would happily see it again. (But I wouldn't go to high school again. Madness.)

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