Thursday, March 27, 2014

21 Jump Street (2012)

Well I seem to have a penchant for reviewing remakes. And there are so many. And some of them are done so well. The benchmark I usually give is Battlestar Galactica. The original was good. It was a nice wholesome TV show the family could sit down and watch on Sunday night. But the "re-imagined" version, as they have called it, is dark; violent; gritty, and hard to the core. Definitely not "The Wonderful World of Disney."

Hollywood has been remaking a lot of things lately; movies and TV shows. What I think is really great is as they start to decide what would make a good remake, they sort of reevaluate the show or movie and decide if it might work better as a comedy. And that's when Starsky and Hutch is born, and Charkie's Angels, and 21 Jump Street.

Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels, and 21 Jump Street were all TV shows I loved to watch after school growing up. Starsky and Hutch were such badasses, The Angels were girlpower before girlpower was chic, and the Jump Street kids were so cool as undercover high school cops. But I never loved them better than as comedies. Hollywood seems to have a formula for finding young talent and "goofing it up."

The film opens with a soundtrack the likes of some Jerry Bruckheimer Summer Blockbuster. It sounds solemn, but the seriousness is broken by Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady," as we see Jonah Hill's character  "Schmidt" walking the halls of high school in 2005, dressed like the real "Slim Shady." We see Jenko and Schmidt as polar opposites, a foreshadowing clue to the role reversal irony to take place later.

When they are replanted back into high school, the short, fat, geeky Schmidt becomes the cool popular one, and the taller more attractive Jenko becomes the geek outcast. And that is just the start of the jokes to come.

You gotta love the cast:  Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Dave Franco, Brie Larson, with a little Ice Cube thrown in. IMDb gives 21 Jump Street 7.2 stars; The Toast gives 'em a solid 8, maybe a 9 on Fridays.

....Cant' wait for the sequel.... [Update:  Read my review of "22 Jump Street"]