I’ll admit I’m skeptical of the idea of Hollywood movie and television reboots. You think to yourself, ‘where have all the original ideas gone’ and ‘they never are able to live up to the nostalgia of originals’, something filmmakers surprisingly acknowledge within the first quarter 21 Jump Street. So upon arrival for the screening I expected to have a few laughs, what I didn’t expect was the audience erupting in laughter often times rattling the packed movie theater. I went in with the goal of counting Channing Tatum’s shirtless scenes in order to entice gay moviegoers to flock to the theaters this weekend, I ended up busting a gut and forgetting all about Tatum half naked. 21 Jump Street broke all expectations and is actually an entertaining film.
If there two Hollywood ‘IT’ boys at the moment they would have to be Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Tatum, fresh from becoming every girl’s and gay guy’s crush in The Vow and gearing up for the summer blockbuster season with the G.I. Joe sequel, and Hill, fresh from his Academy Award nomination, segue onto the screen with buddy-film chemistry that I’m willing to go as far to say I haven’t seen since Lethal Weapon.
The film opens up and without hesitation the jokes start and the plot moves forward. Tatum and Hill play high school rivals who find out that once in the real world none of that bs matters. In an effort to help one another move forward in the police academy, they befriend each other and end up becoming partners. A botched arrest leads to their transfer down to Jump Street and the hilarity ensues. Tatum and Hill are forced back to high school where the rules of their high school days just don’t apply anymore. For such a funny movie, I did have to seriously think for a moment if I went back to high school today would it be the same? I think not and the filmmakers did a great job of conveying the way society has changed throughout these scenes.
If I had one critique of the film it would be that sometimes the humor bordered on crude, which you come to expect from an R-rated comedy. Additionally, some comments overheard as I was leaving the theater mocked the film for ‘being too gay’. While it’s not this film’s fault, Hollywood does have a penchant for mocking homosexuality in effort to gain laughs from moviegoers. The fact is it works or it wouldn’t be in every R-rated comedy in the last decade. While I’m not up in arms about it (I realize I went to see a movie and be entertained), I think it’s appropriate to recognize this laughter and wonder if the moviegoers accepting it on their screen are the ones accepting it as a part of society. Now back to the funny.
Without giving too many plot points or jokes away (I hate when you see a film preview and all the gags are contained within the 2 and a half minute trailer), 21 Jump Street is definitely worth going to see this weekend. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for a surprising and amazing cameo—that’s all I will say . . . fans of the television show will jump for joy when revealed.
21 Jump Street opens today, Friday March 16th, and is playing at Regal Theaters 16 Atlantic Station. Click here for tickets and showtimes.