|21 JUMP STREET
Lord/Christopher Miller; screenwriters: Michael Bacall/based on a
story by Mr. Bacall and Jonah Hill, and the television
series created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J.
Cannell; cinematographer: Barry Peterson;
Negron; music: Mark Mothersbaugh; cast: Jonah Hill (Schmidt),
Channing Tatum (Jenko), Brie Larson (Molly Tracey), Dave
Franco (Eric Molson), Rob Riggle (Mr. Walters), DeRay
Davis (Domingo), Ice Cube (Captain Dickson),
Ellie Kemper (Ms. Griggs), Nick Offerman (Deputy Chief
Hardy), Jake M. Johnson (Principal Dadier);
Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Neal H. Moritz/Stephen J.
Cannell; Sony Pictures; 2012)
"Strained and crass comedy."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A retro gross-out high
school action-comedy based on the ’80s TV
show that ran for five years and gave Johnny Depp his
big break and climb to stardom. Depp honors the pic
with a cameo as an undercover cop. Uninteresting
Lord and Christopher Miller ("Cloudy With a Chance of
take a good concept and fail to capitalize on it, as
the witless comedy quickly descends into tiresome
crude routines, the action sequences are tediously
copied from numerous car chase movies, the
storytelling part is poorly executed and the bromance
becomes grating the more syrupy it becomes. It's based on a story by Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill.
Dumb muscular jock Jenko (Channing Tatum, age 31) and
nerdy loser misfit Schmidt (Jonah
Hill, age 28) went to high school together, but were
enemies. They are recent Police Academy graduates,
where they get a chance to bond and become partners on
a bicycle patrol. After bungling a narcotic arrest in
the park, the police chief assigns them to work out of
an abandoned church at 21 Jump Street. They report to
the one-note overbearing foulmouthed tough cop Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) to work undercover as
students in a high school, where a new synthetic drug
killed a student. They are given new identities as
brothers and ordered to live together in the house of
parents. Their job is simply to infiltrate the drug
dealers and then go after the supplier, which turns
out to be a difficult assignment for these woeful cops
who even manage to botch their new identities.
The dealer is the gregarious brainy green-friendly folk
singing Eric Molson (Dave Franco, James’ younger
brother), who is easy to befriend. But the supplier is
more difficult to smoke out, and the dynamic duo have
their hands full trying to cope again with high school
subjects, gays, a generation gap and coeds while
trying to catch the drug ring. Schmidt is attracted to
drama queen Molly (Brie Larson), one of the girls who hangs around with Eric
and reminds him of the type of girl he yearned for
when a student but never could date.
The buddy cop movie will probably appeal to the twenty-something demographic: or those who like potty humor, juvenile yuks, vile comedy that makes base references to genital parts, an ongoing stream of expletives and loud explosions in the action sequences. It's a movie made by formula, that wants to fuck with an audience who like things that are obvious and require no thinking--like most TV programs. No imagination was exerted in executing this reactionary teen comedy, but the two leads are well-suited for their goofy parts and manage to get a few laughs out of this strained and crass comedy
REVIEWED ON 3/19/2012 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ