Commentary

March 26, 2012

Movie Review: 21 Jump Street

Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
hinderliter
ter is a full-time Public Affairs Officer and part-time pop culture critic. When he's not listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast, he's usually watching movies. His favorite directors include David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese and Alexander Payne.

“21 Jump Street,” the new action/comedy flick from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, starts off strong and has some truly funny moments, but it ultimately proves uneven, falling prey to the pitfalls of this hybrid genre. The film is a remake of the 1987-1991 TV series of the same name, with a few modern twists and a few more laughs.

The movie stars Jonah Hill (playing the part of Schmidt), fresh off his Oscar nomination for “Moneyball,” and Channing Tatum (Jenko), as a pair of underachieving police officers. Hill, who with the exception of “Moneyball” plays essentially the same character in all his movies, is amusing, as we expect from him by now. Tatum, who this year it seems has been ubiquitous on the big screen, is charming, square-jawed and physically imposing. Hill’s goofy awkwardness is a good counter to Tatum’s physicality in much the same way it played well against Brad Pitt’s good looks in “Moneyball.”

We’re first introduced to the pair in 2005, where they attend the same high school. We see Jenko, a jock in a letterman’s jacket, the popular kid. We also meet Schmidt, wearing his “not-so Slim Shady” getup of bling and bleached blond hair. Schmidt is rejected after asking a pretty girl to the prom while Jenko and his friends laugh at his expense.

Smashcut to seven years later, when Schmidt and Jenko are attending police academy together. The two men realize they can benefit from each other’s strengths, and a friendship is formed.

Upon graduation, the two are paired up as bicycle cops in a park. Not surprisingly, both are underwhelmed by the assignment. After an attempted drug bust is botched, however, they find themselves reassigned to undercover duty in a local high school.

Their assignment: to infiltrate a drug ring dealing a synthetic substance we might think of as similar to spice. They report to 21 Jump Street, where they meet Captain Dickson, played by a very funny Ice Cube, the officer who oversees the clandestine cops. At this point Schmidt and Jenko go undercover as high school students.

After a mix-up in the principal’s office, their undercover identities are swapped. Now, in a reversal of roles, Schmidt must infiltrate the popular students’ circle and Jenko must infiltrate the nerds. Surprise, surprise, both men gain some insight into themselves and each other in the process.

Many of the supporting characters are very solid: Rob Riggle is hilarious as a teacher and track coach, Brie Larson is tremendous as Schmidt’s love interest, and Dave Franco (yes, that’s James Franco’s little brother) has a good turn as one their classmates. Saturday Night Live’s Chris Parnell is a scene-stealer as drama teacher Mr. Gordon. There’s also a cameo that fans of the original series will appreciate.

Viewers can expect lots of locker room humor and good one-liners. In many ways, this is a buddy movie that explores the shifting social dynamics between the two protagonists, and the movie is at its best when it focuses on the relationships between the characters. In the third act, however, the movie devolves into too much physical comedy and action sequences.

In tone and style, the movie brings to mind “Pineapple Express,” the 2008 stoner comedy/action film that also started very good but proved less than satisfying. Although it has some entertaining performances, the movie is less than the sum of its parts, and unfortunately, it never strays far from where we know it’s going all along.

21 Jump Street is rated R for language, violence, drug use and an unfortunate attempt to secure an appendage lost in a shooting.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin