Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: 21 Jump Street

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
Directed by: Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Language: English
Rating: R
Running Time: 109 minutes

If you didn't know, I love Johnny Depp. He's probably my favorite actor. I started watching his first TV series 21 Jump Street from my job and even reviewed it. My mom bought me two seasons for me for Christmas one year. So, I've seen four out of five seasons of the show and even became a fan of not only the show but Dustin Nguyen. When I heard there was going to be a movie and saw the trailer from one of my best friends on Facebook, I was immediately disinterested. So, naturally I skipped it in the theaters. Recently, I picked the DVD up from work, thought about a review I saw of it, and gave it a chance.

The story starts in 2005 where we're introduced to our main characters Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko in their opposing stereotypes of awkward nerd and jerky jock. The movie fast forwards to present day when the two meet again in police academy. They notice they can benefit from each other with their strengths of brawn and brain. Of course, they succeed and patrol together. Unfortunately, they don't take their job serious enough and get transferred to the Jump Street Program: an undercover group that pose as high school students due to their young appearance and stop illegal activities. Schmidt and Jenko become the McQuaid brothers, move into Schmidt's parents' home, and accidentally switch stereotypes when they enter high school.

If you couldn't tell, I wasn't expecting much from this movie and it honestly started off that way. The main characters were too goofy to represent such a serious show and once Ice Cube's character appeared, I couldn't handle all the unnecessary profanity. I guess he wanted to make up for all those family friendly films he's been in recently. Unfortunately, that completely turned my mom off from watching the whole movie despite my thoughts on it. It was hard to get into it, in the beginning, especially when you're thinking about the show, but a little further into it, I forgot that the movie was called 21 Jump Street. Forgetting to compare the two made me surprisingly enjoy it.

The movie does share some ties to the show like having two male leads, using the McQuaid name, the purpose of Jump Street and its location, and cameos from the original cast members. Honestly, if they took those ties out and changed the title, I think I would've been less judgmental in the beginning and the movie would be better for Jump Street fans. Also, less profanity would be nice.

As bizarre as the casting was, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum had great chemistry. The story flowed despite a couple lagging places and dumb jokes. The movie provided a decent and fun trip for me. Although, the title and cameos put me back onto earth that it doesn't reflect the show completely. For Jump Street fans expecting the same feelings from the show, I advise you to take this one as more of a comedic or even a parody of the show.

Overall, the movie is fun despite my negativity toward certain aspects. It has some cheap laughs and kinda pokes fun at stereotypes. If you want something easy on the mind then pick this up. Once again, I advise you not to harshly compare this movie to the show, you will be very disappointed and upset.

Rating: 3.5/5

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