"What I wasn’t prepared for, was for 21 Jump Street to be a modern day Hot Shots!"
People say that Hollywood has run out of ideas.
I would argue that they didn’t have many to begin with, and we should give them some credit for what they’ve managed to achieve by gluing stacks of money together.
Regardless of your stance on the subject, no one can deny the wincing pain brought on by the sight of a poster or trailer for something that most respectable people forgot about a decade ago. 21 Jump Street is the filmification of, well, 21 Jump Street. A show from the late 80s about Johnny Depp pouting.
I’d seen the trailers, and raved about how much I hated Channing Tatum’s face. I thought it looked funny in that worrying kind of way where the three laughs in the film are in the trailer. What I wasn’t prepared for, was for 21 Jump Street to be a modern day Hot Shots! That sentence ends with an exclamation point because the film title does, not because I was yelling. Though if you watched Hot Shots! when you were young and impressionable (or its aptly named sequel Hot Shots! Part Deux) I’m not sure how you could read it without getting at least a little excited.
Not everyone will enjoy 21 Jump Street, (I would worry about the world if everyone did) but the film skates that wonderfully thin ice between underhanded wit and toilet humour. It has that duality of a post season 3 South Park episode where one side of the audience will laugh at a dick joke while the other will snicker at a reference to the absurdity of modern action films, all within 8 seconds of each other.
Another stand out aspect of the film is its powerhouse comedic cast. I especially loved Dave Franco proving that he’s much funnier than a failed Scrubs Season 9 implied. And then there’s Channing Tatum, a man whose very name makes me want to sucker punch him and run. Yet it’s arguable that he gives one of the strongest performances in 21 Jump Street, and believe me that’s a tough thing to admit.
Fairly unpredictable and surprisingly fleshed out, 21 Jump Street will hopefully set a new precedent for modern parody films, because we really really need one.