Saturday, March 17, 2012

21 Jump Street (2012)


R, 1 hr. 49 min.  Directed By:  Phil Lord, Chris Miller.  Release Date:  Mar 16, 2012.

Before I get in to the meat of this discussion, I feel the need to point out the three MAJOR hurdles that this movie had to overcome.  (1)  I’m about five years too young (too young for a change!) to have watched the 21 Jump Street TV show, although I’m old enough to know that it’s where Johnny Depp became a household word.  (2) I hate Jonah Hill with a seething passion.  (3)  If you think think I hate Jonah Hill, you have no idea the depths of my hatred for Channing Tatum, who at his stone cold best is a talentless hack that’s coasted through life on his pretty face.  I may sound bitter, but I think we should demand some acting talent from those whatchamacallits… actors.

So when I say that 21 Jump Street is all kinds of fun, you know they had to jump through an absolute ton of hoops to get to that point.  I still didn’t love either Jonah Hill or Channing Tatum, but I found them acceptable.  They were actually funny in tandem and I thought  they had good chemistry together.  I also wondered when they were going to start making out.  ‘Bromance’ is kind of a modern evil, and this was no exception.  I would have been happier if their relationship was a little more realistic, but I did wish that I had someone like that as a regular part of my life.  Not the making out part, but some buddy that I got to hang out with all the time.

I loved that this movie basically made fun of itself throughout the run time.  There was a whole exchange about how nothing was unique anymore, and how the creators of entertainment franchises were just basically just taking “old stuff and thinking none of us would notice.”  There was also a running gag about how things weren’t exploding like we might expect them to.  I love all the jokes about how old Channing Tatum looks, even though he's like seven years younger than me.  Additionally, they brought in most of the original cast of the TV show that I could remember off the top of my head.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t cinema as art.  This is a sawdust-on-the-floor, dyed-in-the-wool guilty pleasure.  It’s the kind of funny that is occasionally smart, but more often than not is low-brow in the extreme.  The cast is decent, but not inspired, even the members of the cast who are genuinely good.   If you’re going to the movies for Film, you’re probably going to want to look elsewhere.  If you, like me, tend to lean more toward the movies as a Movie, you could do worse than look here.

I actually enjoyed this enough that I plan on adding it to my DVD collection at some point.  I might not pay full price for it, but it'll get added in there eventually.  And, if you, like me, really enjoy this movie, I give even money on there being a sequel.