21 Jump Street

What possible reason could you have for not wanting to watch these two in action? Exactly – none.  And those Jonah Hill fans currently binging on ice cream and candy bars to compensate for the awfulness of his last film, The Sitter*, can now return to normal; put the food down, close the fridge door and lose some pounds as Jonah so clearly has – unless that’s great editing we’re seeing.  *I haven’t seen it but that’s no reason not to go with the chat.

His latest film, 21 Jump Street, a cop movie, if you couldn’t tell, might not be quite up there with Police Academy, but it’s miles better than its fourteen or so sequels.  Jonah’s back, and he’s out-cooling Channing Tatum as well. Though co-writing the film, with Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – good; Project X – bad), will make that a little easier to pull off.

Taking $35 million in the first weekend in the U.S. and Canada is proof enough that he’s still the comedy draw, but it was the steady laughter in the auditorium throughout the film, rising to quite a few raucous peaks, that really showed the success of the film. This is just one of many comedy-platinum moments:

Don’t worry, he made it; he’s the hero and this is a feel-good film. Perhaps it’s the antidote to those so-called recessional movies like Wanderlust.  Who wants to be reminded of losing jobs and struggling in life when more and more of us are doing just that? Much better to watch automobile violence. But the film works not least because tongues are firmly in cheeks the whole way through, even during the action bits:

Jonah and Channing play two cops sent undercover into a typical U.S. school to bust up a lethal drugs racket. But along the way they relive past high school traumas, both of them having missed their Prom, one unable to ask a girl to be his date and the other as punishment for poor grades. I’ll let you work out who was who:

But these issues are resolved by the end of the film, the jock befriending the geeks, learning something along the way, and the geek finding he’s in fact cool in this brave new world of mixed up kids who don’t know what’s one-strap and what’s two-strap anymore (you’ll have to watch the film to undersand that reference). I mean, jocks don’t even make fun of gays any more. That’s how confusing it is for them.

This is a film that plays with stereotypes, turning them upside-down and reclaiming them from the kill-joys for the comedy genre. There’s even an angry black captain played by an Ice Cube (I know, weird), busting their balls all the way through, and making front and centre reference to his own cliche. Here he is relishing his role about 1/1000th of the level shown in better shots:

But, by the end of the film, all is well with the Captain and he congratulates them for breaking the drug ring and getting the girl; and the credits then begin to roll and the atmosphere among the departing cinema-goers is one of overwhelming contentment, and I’m pretty sure they all go off to their own little Proms in this sort of manner:

A definite go-see, if you like this sort of thing.

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