Archived: Review: 21 Jump Street (2012) - archived

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Based on the 1987 TV series of the same name, 21 Jump Street sees rookie cops Schmit (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) go undercover and return to high school to bust a synthetic drugs ring. High school has changed a lot in the last five years, Jenko was the jock and the popular kid whilst Schmit was the over-achiever who had no friends. Now, the pair of unlikely friends must face high school again, but with the roles reversed.

You’d think that a comedy based remake of an old franchise would be worth a laugh or two, but despite trying their hardest, 21 Jump Street just isn’t a good movie. From the spread so thin plot that is so predictable because we’ve seen it a million times before, even throwing in Ice Cube to tell us this is a ridiculous remake/reboot only justifies that the creative team really had no ideas of their own.

Neither Hill nor Tatum add any value to the film with Hill dishing out the same droll performances we’ve seen him do time and again. There is no chemistry between the two leads at all and the supporting cast are left to fend for themselves, the best coming from Ellie Kemper who you may recognise from the US version of The Office.

The final skirmish between good and evil is overdone, using gross-out humour to try and cover up for all the poor dialogue that the rest of the film has suffered but this does nothing but to make you wonder why the sudden shift in tone. Even the final cameo does little to lift the reputation and only serves as a doth of the cap to the original for those that might remember it.

Perhaps I’m just too old and grouchy thesedays, perhaps the target audience of this movie, who ironically enough won’t be old enough to remember the original, will lap up the mis-mash of slapstick, meta and bizzaro. For me however, it doesn’t settle and chooses to jump around stylistically in what seems to be trying to find something funny enough it sticks, but failing.

Weak plot and weak acting leads to an underwhelming film that disappoints and ultimately makes little sense. Channing Tatum passed twice on the script before being coerced into doing it by Hill. Perhaps he should have stuck to his gut reaction.

Archived: Review: 21 Jump Street (2012) - archived
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