|21 Jump Street (F)||0 out of 8 users found this review helpful.|
I love watching the old 21 Jump Street TV Show. It is exciting, funny, and highly entertaining. I know I’m not the only one: When it was on air, that show was a hit. And for good reason. The cops were cool. They looked like regular high school kids, but they were excellent combatants, stunningly beautiful, amazingly smart, perfectly composed, and exceptionally noble. Who wouldn’t want to be like them--busting up terrible organized crime rings with a few well-placed bullets and sassy comments. Everyone admired those cops.
About thirty minutes into 21 Jump Street you realize that even though it is a parody of the original show, we are supposed to admire these cops too. They are supposed to be cool and what we want to be.
What an insult! Who exactly is this audience supposed to be? These are in no way, shape, or form admirable protagonists. They sell drugs to children, they torture people, they seduce teenagers, and they have no desire to fight for the greater good.
Now I get what the logic is: The original show had such ridiculously cool and perfect characters it was absurd for any real person to be like them. But this movie goes to the opposite extreme. It is funny for a little bit to watch people be jerks, but once you realize that the movie is a wish-fulfillment comedy about what the filmmakers expect we all would want to do as undercover cops it becomes terribly depressing.
It isn’t cool to host a giant party where someone gets stabbed. It isn’t cool to steel marijuana from police evidence and sell it to freshmen. It isn’t cool to make out with high schoolers on government paychecks.
If the newspaper printed a story about undercover cops doing any of the things they do in this movie, it would be a humongous scandal. No one would side with the cops. Yet if it is done in the disguise of a wish fulfillment comedy, it suddenly becomes okay.
These jokes are destructive. It treats serious matters like a joke, even though most people don’t actually think they are. Right now, at least. A few more years of films like these and people might think teen drug abuse, drunken brawls, sexual assault, and police brutality are really normal, everyday things.
It is particularly tragic since the original show, in addition to being a highly entertaining action thriller, served as a PSA to the dangers of drug abuse, child pornography, and other crimes that people might actually witness.
The plot of the movie centers around two policemen going undercover in a high school and getting to redo their old mistakes while also fighting brutal gangsters. Channing Tatum has finally gotten recognized as more than an Abercrombie model for this movie, which is actually tragic seeing as he has helmed some great movies (such as The Eagle) with performances ranging from a introverted soldier (Dear John) to a self-centered crack-addict (The Dilemma) without having to sacrifice his soul. His costar is Jonah Hill, a talented actor who has absolutely no taste. Here he writes and executive produces in an obvious attempt to redo the success he had with Superbad despite having the abilities to do so much more.
The directors are Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who’s biggest movie prior to this was the 90 minute fat person joke Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Michael Bacall writes, hoping a credit on this movie and Project X will stamp out the memory that he once made a legitimate comedy (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World).
If you haven’t noticed, the only person here who is known for making movies that aren’t self-referential parodies is Editor Joel Negron, who is known for action films (The Karate Kid reboot, to begin with). I guess his work is noticeable, since the action scenes are smart and fun. The comedy could be too, except every time you start to laugh they make a joke targeting the values of Jump Street-esque TV shows rather than the continuity errors. Why would honorable cops not screwing up teenager’s lives be laughable?
I sincerely hope that if a real 21 Jump Street movie came out today people would admire those cops too.
Red Band Clip: 21 Jump Street
The latest raunchy reboot of a television show gets a give-minute red-band clip.
Red Band Trailer: 21 Jump Street
The directors of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs have taken one of the earliest FOX shows and made something out of it. Something that can only be described as wonderful.
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