Monday, March 26, 2012

21 Jump Street

Movie Name: 21 Jump Street
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle, DeRay Davis, Ice Cube, Dax Flame, Chris Parnell, Ellie Kemper, Jake M. Johnson, Nick Offerman, Dakota Johnson, Johnny Simmons, Caroline Aaron
Genre: Comedy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 4

"21 Jump Street" is the first live action feature film from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, both of whom previously directed the animated "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". The film is an adaptation of the TV show from the late 80s, created by Stephen J. Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh, that launched the career of Johnny Depp. The film follows the lives of Schmidt and Jenko, who were completely different in high school, and who both end up as unlikely friends in the police force. Because of their looks and young age, they both end up being part of a special program, an undercover assignment which aims at tracing crimes in high school. Schmidt and Jenko end up reliving their high school experiences, but in completely opposite shoes.
The film, which borrows heavily from the style that Judd Apatow started with "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up",  lives from the sense of irony that the writers have placed in the action sequences and the traditional high school films that have been done by other film makers. The directors enjoy the tongue-in-cheek moments, and playing with the audience's expectations, but in the end the film has a moral ground that is exactly the same as the films that it pokes fun of (the cliches are all there). The acting of all the actors is uniformly forgettable, with Jonah Hill again playing the same type he has created for all of his previous films (with the exception of his character in Bennett Miller's "Moneyball"). A mediocre effort.