21 Jump Street (2012)

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 8.5/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 8/10

21 JUMP STREET (2012) - Phil Lord, Chris Miller

Always know your rights. Your Miranda rights. Or else you might just be "unlucky" enough to be thrown into a division filled with Justin Beaver, Molly Cyrus lookin' motherf***ers. Welcome to 21 Jump Street.

21 Jump Street follows Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum), who are former classmates who meet again at the police academy. Schmidt was a nerd while Jenko was a jock. They end up becoming friends at the academy and graduate together as park patrol partners. After arresting a group of drug dealers, Schmidt and Jenko are both forced to be released due to Jenko forgetting to read the Miranda rights. Then are then reassigned to a revived specialty division on 21 Jump Street, led by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube).

The interesting execution that 21 Jump Street goes with is that it is self-aware of its ridiculous premise and preposterousness, but goes with it consistently. The idea of casting Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as high school students just does not work; it is the same first impression of casting Daniel Radcliffe as a father in The Woman in Black. However, this comedy points out the actors' mature looks, how Channing Tatum must have hit puberty when he was seven. On another aspect besides characters, 21 Jump Street stands as also a parody on classic action films. It addresses the genre's cliches yet uses them in an original fashion, similar to what Scream did to the horror genre and what Tropic Thunder did to the Vietnam War genre.

I was (and still not really) never a fan of Jonah Hill, and I rarely find him funny. His movies never appear on my noticeable comedies list, mostly because of my strong distaste of them; they are often rude, raunchy, sleazy, and offensive. Here, in 21 Jump Street, Hill's crudeness is toned down a full level, tolerable and acceptable in my standards. In a way, Hill is attached to Tatum more due to the character duo leading the film. As for Tatum, this film is proof and a perfect example that he can do a comedy, and properly too. You may have seen him in She's The Man, but 21 Jump Street can make Tatum look like he deserves a Razzie for his previous comedies.

In terms of storyline, 21 Jump Street is surprisingly thoughtful over its silliness. It may have the typical Jonah Hill comedy, but it does not prevent the film from presenting its actual narrative. As for promotion and advertising, the film avoids the pit that all comedies fall into, the "expose the best jokes in the trailer" pit. It comes forth as cliche and familiar, but delivers much more than it reveals initially. From the Washington Post, it may appear as "another product of Hollywood's recycling program, but it deserves to be noticed." It is a very rare comedy, a movie where I care about the characters and laugh my lungs out at the same time. The film may be vulgar, like every American comedy nowadays, but thoughtfulness and efficient satire makes 21 Jump Street jump out of the crowd.

The humor is chaotic, noisy and keeps on going like a steamroller. It is one of those stupid comedies that are stupid in a good way, a guilty pleasure that I never expected to have. When a comedy is rated R, you expect a script that favors vulgarity over everything else. But after you see 21 Jump Street, you will be immersed into its fast-paced narrative and ridicule so fast that you will forget everything else and forgive it all. The amount of jokes it offers is tremendously large, and they can range from clever gags to random one-liners. When the comedy runs out of fuel, 21 Jump Street is smart enough to morph into an action film, with hilarious chase scenes and cheesy shoot-outs that brings out the campy action sequences in trashy television, and makes fun of them. It is inevitably the funniest film of 2012 so far, and one of the biggest surprises of this year as well.

In conclusion, 21 Jump Street is a fun ride. Despite it delivering rather low IQ jokes, the movie itself definitely has a high IQ, for being self-aware, witty, and constructive. Being a remake of the show of the same name, 21 Jump Street touches on elements of the '80s while exploring teen movie tropes and the YouTube generation, providing us with a largely entertaining movie that can satisfy a wide target audience.


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