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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why 21 Jump Street Was One of the Funniest Films In Years.

While most people know of the 80’s TV show about cops going under cover in a high school, even if you have never heard of it, you still better see this movie. I can honestly say I have not laughed this hard in quite some time. This movie was simply hilarious. The action comedy follows the story of two cops who are reassigned to go undercover in a local high school to unearth a major drug ring. The two men who experienced high school very differently are shocked to find that things these days are quite different than they were ten years earlier. The cops are played by Jonah Hill (Schmidt) and Channing Tatum (Jenko).  The film is quite raunchy and the language is as bad as you can get but there are nonstop laughs and some amazing sequences.  Before we get to the stars, there are some great supporting roles in the film. Ice Cube plays Captain Dickson, the head of the undercover program. His every word is so cliché and predictable, yet he delivers knock out lines with every word. His few scenes garnered just as many laughs as those of the stars. The group of high school students also are cast quite well. But the best supporting role is by far that of Rob Riggle as Mr. Walters, the creepy gym teacher. Very underrated, Riggle is so over the top you have to love him. His one liners such from Step Brothers and The Hangover are already deemed classic quotes. He adds an awesome element to the film.
What is so clever about the film is that its greatest quality is that it makes fun of itself.  The directors not only make fun and often reference the original 21 Jump Street (maybe even having a surprise guest appearance), they also make fun of the entire action/comedy genre. Perhaps none of these are funnier than the on-going joke in the film as to when things blow up in real life. I honestly had to control myself from laughing so hard.
Now for the real stars of the film; Hill and Tatum. Let’s begin with Hill. Hill is always good, never bad, and sometimes great. He is great in this film. He plays the whole “I am a loser and its funny” bit perhaps better than anyone in Hollywood. He does an awesome job of balancing his humor from being completely over the top to just being classically funny. There is something about him freaking out and screeching like a girl that I will always love (sorry but Accepted just popped into my head).  Hill came into this pairing being the funny one and he handles the pressure very well. I have already been quoting him from the movie and its been less than 24 hours.
They say that the greatest man is one that can admit his mistakes. I strive to be great and therefore would like to publically apologize to Channing Tatum. I have often said you are the worst actor in Hollywood (see my post on Haywire). What I didn’t realize is that you are not the worst actor in Hollywood, you are the worst dramatic actor in Hollywood; but you sure are damn funny. Tatum shocked me in this film and not only was funny, no I mean actually funny, but he also did a decent job of acting. Playing dumb is not always the easiest thing but he truly balanced his character in the film. He not only avoided holding Hill back but at times often matching Hill in the comedic elements of the film. I am afraid to praise him too much until I see his next film but I must give credit where credit is due. Channing Tatum, you did an excellent job in the film.
I strongly recommend the film to anyone who likes to laugh but please be aware there are as many horrible crude jokes and disgusting language as a film can have. Viewer beware.

Sex: Partial Male Nudity but sex is implied, Sex is talked about and often referenced to
Violence: There is plenty of violence and some gory scenes where they don’t shy away from blood and gun shots.
Language: non-stop vulgar language
Drugs: read the plot
Rated: R
Run time: 109 minutes
Grade: 4 Stars

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