21 Jump Street
I wasn’t a dedicated fan of the tv series, but was a casual watcher. I generally liked the show – or at least some parts of it. This movie adaptation takes a more comedic approach to the concept, but captures some of the core essence of the series. I was looking forward to the movie after first seeing the fun trailers. Thankfully, it was just as fun as the trailers had made it look.
Writing: The script has fun fitting the original concept to the current era. It has particular fun with the reversal of the jock vs nerd scenario. It also has fun with some of the more general genre stereotypes – the constantly angry police captain, the high speed chase, the always exploding vehicular crashes, etc.
Production: The film goes the extra mile for the production, particularly in a couple of the big action set pieces. Absolutely nothing to complain about in this department.
Cast: The movie completely belongs to Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. The two of them are individually perfect and together have remarkably surprising comedic chemistry. I’ve always felt that Channing Tatum was somewhat underestimated, and this film gives him the opportunity to show off his rarely tapped comedic skills. The supporting cast has enormous fun with the material as well. Brie Larson is delightful, as usual. Ice Cube really chews up the scenery as the always angry captain. And you’ve got talented comedians like Rob Riggle and the great Chris Parnell. SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH! And then there’s a few awesome cameos by original series cast members. Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise drop in for an awesome cameo appearance in the big action climax, and it works brilliantly. And Holly Robinson Peete also drops in for the fun. Word has it that Richard Grieco was left out on the grounds that they were sticking to original season cast members. But there’s word he’d put in an appearance should a sequel happen.
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh doesn’t do too many big action films, so he gets to cut loose and poke fun at the genre. In particular, he has fun with the big action set pieces. Overall, a very fun score.