21 Jump Street enjoys satisfying re-imagining

[pullquote3 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Movie Review[/pullquote3]

BY SOPHIE AFDHAL ’15
Staff Writer

21 Jump Street premiered in theaters this past week to critical acclaim and positive reaction from moviegoers. The film re-imagines the original television show, which starred Johnny Depp and aired from 1987 to 1991.

The film centers around two former high school classmates, Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill). The two join the police force and, after an embarrassing failed arrest, Jenko and Schmidt are sent to 21 Jump Street, a special police division.

Schmidt, the former nerd, and Jenko, the dim-witted jock, are then sent back to high school as undercover agents. Their mission is to find and bust a secret undercover drug ring at the school. The two attempt to assimilate back into high-school life and quickly find things have changed since their time there.

An excellent cast is really what makes the film a success. As usual, Hill delivers a hilarious performance as Schmidt and manages to make us hate the nerd, just a little bit. Tatum gives a surprisingly good performance as Jenko, the unintelligent jock-turned-cop who can’t even remember his Miranda Rights.

It feels like every role Tatum plays is the strong, silent type in romantic comedies, so it was good to see him leave his traditional role and play a very funny cop. He brought a lot of heart to the role and kept up with Hill’s quick-paced comedic timing. I was more impressed with Tatum in this role than I have been with the actor in quite some time.

David Franco, James Franco’s little brother, also stars in the film as the eco-friendly popular boy. Previously seen in Scrubs, it’s enjoyable watching Franco transition onto the big screen and rise to fame. He delivers a hilarious breakout performance, and I hope to see him in more films from now on.

Overall, the film was very enjoyable. It is an excellent satire and delivers poignant societal mockery with class. It follows the archetypal ’80s movie format with predictable plot development but surprisingly varying action-based and comedic scenes. Sharp gags and even sharper humor redeem the film and balance out the less intelligent comedic scenes. I would say such quick wit definitely distinguishes 21 Jump Street from other modern comedies.

So far, the film has been a success at the box office. During its opening weekend, the film grossed $35 million, and thus far it has grossed $50,947,031 worldwide.

Due to this success, Sony Pictures announced on March 17 it plans to produce a sequel. The final scene of the movie leaves it open to a sequel, and it is expected that both Tatum and Hill will return to reprise their roles.

All in all, it’s great to see an ’80s reboot that manages to delight and humor audiences.

This will not be the most sophisticated film you see this year, but if you are looking for a laugh and enjoy ridiculous comedic scenarios, then 21 Jump Street is a solid film choice for you.

Questions? Email Sophie at sophie.afdhal@fandm.edu.

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