BY RICK JACKSON
Anyone who wants to see a different kind of comedy where the two main stars act like comic foils in situations which, in all honesty, wouldn't work otherwise will be surprised.
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are not the comic side of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon movies, but their mannerisms and penchant to be funny works in the strangest predicaments, even if they border on the crude side. I still found it amusing, as did the other moviegoers sitting across from me. They often were besides themselves and, for a change, the crude humour wasn't as offensive, despite one sequence near the end which I won't reveal.
Waiting until after the weekend to do this review, I wanted to see how well it did at the box office which I don't usually do. There is a reason for its success which I won't divulge because I don't believe in adding spoilers in my reviews. If you know anything about the TV series, you probably can figure it out. What I will tell you, it all saves the film from being a waste of time and elevates 21 Jump Street to a level above the average comedy featuring crude humour.
The screenplay by Michael Bacall, from a story by Bacall and Jonah Hill, it opens as two young cops, Schmidt and Jenko (Tatum and Hill) are recruited for a special program where they go undercover at the place of the film's title. As they go about their business to find the supplier of drugs to the neighbourhood,they find themselves in situations not unlike the old Police Academy series from the 1980s but without Michael Winslow.
True, there are moments which may make shake your head but it this a comedy and you be ready to laugh and believe it or not, there are some guaranteed to tickle your funnybone.
The rest of the cast almost looks like they came from another planet. Their behaviour is outrageously seriously purporting to make you feel like chuckling as some did at the matinee I attended.
What is funny is the stage production of Peter Pan the school puts on. It is reminiscent of the 1935 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream where the entire cast of actors, ie. James Cagney and Mickey Rooney, looked funny in their outfits. In Peter Pan it is all awkward and comical when the actual show finally goes on and there is a Marx Brothers entrance by our two heroes when they arrive. It is still not up to par when I remember A Night At The Opera (1935) but that was then, this is now.
Brie Larson adds something extra as Molly Tracey, the requisite sweet girl, and Ice Cube is well cast, despite being a little over the top as Captain Dickson. His scenes are also predictable as is the climax, but this is a comedy.
Here is a decent movie spinoff from a TV series with a cameo that will help sell the film and make it a respectable hit for how long, I don't know.
It is rated 14A, with the warnings: coarse language, sexual content and substance abuse.
March 18, 2012
Copyright Rick Jackson 2012