I didn’t LOVE it either, but I liked it well enough to enjoy myself. Seems 21 Jump Street was better than it had the right to be. The most shocking part is that there was an actual narrative–WHA?! A narrative that was well-executed, well acted and kept my attention. Wait…wait…you want to know the really, really shocking part? My favorite character was played by Channing Tatum!! WHA-WHA?! I know. Craziness. (For those who do not know Mr. Tatum annoys me–he is Keanu Reeves replacement for best wooden acting.)
There were a few things that were keeping me from running to theater to watch 21 Jump Street. First, it appeared to have nothing in common with the original source (yes…I am old enough to have watched the television series and I am not a fanatic about it, but still…), which was more of a dramedy than a straight out comedy. Secondly, the trailer was not funny to me. But, I started hearing all the positive press and reviews and thought I would give it a chance.
I am glad I did and although I did not think it was the “best comedy since Hangover (part 1)” (which still ranks #1 of making me cry from laughter throughout), I did have fun. There were times of genuine laughter, some of the jokes were dead on–LOL moments for sure! And there were also times of me–shaking my head–laughing–but more at the absurdity, and not at the punchline.
The best thing about this film is that writer Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim–one of my favs) is clever and infuses the story with real moments–amidst all the ludicrous behavior–and those moments are the heart of the story and what makes you care for these two guys. Then add the directing team of Chris Miller and Phil Lord (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs–another fav) and let them create this zany, fast-paced ride–without losing sight of just how absurd it all is and having massive fun with it. Some of the most successful ‘funny” happened when they were mocking themselves. Well done guys!
Jonah Hill is strong here and I already know that this kid has some comedy and acting chops (check out Cyrus if you doubt it)–so no surprise there. But Channing Tatum? He, I usually avoid–but I liked him here–his style worked–he is still wooden, but he is supposed to be. And yet, he was able to emote real sadness and was pretty damn funny. Shocker, for sure! The supporting cast is solid–especially the HS kids–but this is the Jonah + Channing show–all the way.
Overall it was a good time. It was probably better that I had ZERO expectations, because it allowed me to go it with an open mind. So, I will say–check it out if you want a fun, silly and sometimes really funny time. You may thank Korean Jesus for it! 😉
Red Band trailer–do not watch if you’re sensitive to foul language!