Tuesday, March 20, 2012
21 Jump Street
Yes, Jonah Hill is an excellent funnyman, but, in the past, his excellence has been brought out by the actors that surrounded him. I certainly haven't seen all of Channing Tatum's work, but I just couldn't see how he was going to bring out the best in Jonah Hill. The previews did have hilarious moments. However, if you haven't realized it by now, most comedic trailers tend to be funny, regardless of how funny the actual film is. I really thought that 21 Jump Street was going to be one of those comedies that had nothing going for it, beyond the funny moments in the trailer. I mean, come on!, it's not even an original idea! But I had to go check it out...
I'm going to be honest with you... I have never watched the old 21 Jump Street. All I actually know about it is that Johnny Depp was one of the main characters, but isn't that all that anyone knows about it? Regardless, I just want you to know that this review in no way critiques how well the original story was retold. So, as an original story (not idea), 21 Jump Street was absolutely fantastic. There wasn't any great genius moment of story-telling, but I can only remember one time where I thought "I haven't laughed in the last minute." As far as being funny goes, it's been a while since I have seen a comedy that made me laugh this much. Considering I watch like a bazillion comedies each year, that's a bold statement.
Best Scene: My favorite moments in 21 Jump Street were the random one-liners that just never ceased.
I'm going to go against my expectations here and say that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum were the perfect pair for this movie. I thought Jonah Hill was going to lose his funny with his weight, but he is still fat enough where they can joke about it, so fret not! Hill's character (Schmidt) was a former high school loser, who was given a second chance to become popular. Tatum's character (Jenko) was a former popular kid, who was stuck with the nerds during his second time around. While the emotional, awkward relationship moments were there between the two friends, it wasn't as awkward or emotional as the usual unfolding comedic friendship. The only negative that I found was a casting issue. While there were few really bad characters, I did feel like a few of the actors chosen were not right for their role (cough cough... Ellie Kemper and Dave Franco).
Best Character: Because this is best "character," I'm going to give the best character honor to Ice Cube's Captain Dickson. However, this is yet another role that I feel was poorly cast. I would have rather seen Samuel L. Jackson in the role. Obviously, I can't get everything that I want, but I should!
Worst Character: This one was not even difficult. While I absolutely love him on New Girl, Jake M. Johnson was awful as Principal Dadier. It was just an awkward role.
While it is only March, I think 21 Jump Street has certainly grabbed itself a nice hold on being the best comedy of 2012. I certainly hope that a ton of other comedies come along that just blow me away as much as this film did, but I just don't see that happening. With this film, Jonah Hill has established himself as one of the leading comedic actors in Hollywood, but don't forget that he can do serious as well (Moneyball). There is no doubt that this is the most surprisingly good film of 2012, thus far, and, with the money it's made, I can't wait for them to announce a sequel. As I said, the one-liners stole the show. I would quote every single one of them for you, but the language would be a tad too offensive. If you want to laugh hard at some hilarious, dirty, offensive jokes, go watch 21 Jump Street! It will please you in ways that The Lorax and The Hunger Games just can't. I give 21 Jump Street 3.82 out of 5 stars...