365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

22Sep/120

21 Jump Street (2012)

You would think that the odds that a movie comedy remake of a television drama that, while critically acclaimed, ran for just five full seasons could be a blockbuster movie you think would be rare. I would think the same thing. And when I first saw the preview of Chris Miller's (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Shrek the Third) 21 Jump Street, my first thought was why. My second thought occurred after finishing the preview was this is going to be a disaster. Boy was I wrong. While I hadn't heard a single person say this movie was bad, it still sat next to my DVD player for over two weeks after its Netflix envelope arrived. Channing Tatum (Stop Loss, Public Enemies) and Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Superbad) are both decent actors. I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to watch a movie because one of these two is the star of it. As a duo, I thought they wouldn't work. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this movie. Tatum and Hill star as Jenko and Schmidt, two odd ball police partners who also went to high school together. It is roughly seven years since their high school graduation. Jenko and Schmidt knew each other and high school, but clearly did not hang out in the same social circles. Jenko was a jock who often found himself in the principal's office. Schmidt was the insecure nerdy type. While at the police academy, the two men realize the need each other to get onto the force. Jenko does not have the brains to pass the written tests necessary to earn his badge while Schmidt cannot pass the physical component. They agree to help each other out. Jenko will get Schmidt in physical shape and Jenko will help tutor Schmidt. The duo finds itself as undercover narcotics officers after they botch a routine in which they could have put a drug dealer behind bars simply because the arrested man was not read his Miranda Rights. There is a new  synthetic drug called HFS that is unknown to law enforcement. It causes a crazy high, but has also led to at least one student overdosing from it. Captain Dickson (Ice Cube - Barbershop, Friday) tells Jenko and Schmidt that there goal is to infiltrate the drug dealers and find the supplier. They go undercover as high school fraternal twins. They are each given class schedules based on their personalities. However, neither officer can remember the name of his undercover identity. This results in Jenko having to follow the class schedule Schmidt was supposed to have and vice versa. The not so bright Jenko ends up in classes like AP Chemistry while Schmidt ends up in drama. This alone results in quite a number of laughs. Both men quickly realize that the things that were popular and cool when they were in high school are not the same things that are cool and popular seven years later. The film does a really good job at recognizing the current issues that a 2012 high school senior would face. It is very funny watching each of the men acclimate to their new environments. The movie is by no means sentimental, but Tatum and Hill each do such a great job at showing their differences that when they come together and embrace one another, you can't help but be happy seeing their characters each kind of come full circle. The movie also stars Dave Franco (Fright Night, Charlie St. Cloud). Franco is the younger brother of James Franco and shows a lot the same promise that has made the elder Franco one of the most talented people in Hollywood. If you enjoy a good comedy, you'll enjoy this movie a lot. I compare it to The Other Guys. Your side won't hurt from laughing so hard, but you'll be thoroughly entertained from start to finish). Plot 8/10 Character Development 8.5/10 (the movie progresses its two lead characters nicely) Character Chemistry 9/10 (Tatum and Hill are perfect matches) Acting 9/10 Screenplay 8/10 (at 1 hour and 49 minutes, it's a bit long...there is a car chase near the end of the movie that could have easily been cut) Directing  8/10 Cinematography 8/10 Sound 8/10 Hook and Reel 9.5/10 (you'll laugh early and often) Universal Relevance 7.5/10 83.5%

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