After this most recent Oscar ceremony, there is little question that Hollywood has its focus on the past right now. Movies about the past, movies set in the past, older aged actors, and just one silent film hoarded all the statues for themselves. That’s just another symptom to add to the endless parade of remakes, reboots, sequels, and prequels that inundate the theaters every weekend. “21 Jump Street” is no different….on the surface.
Trailers for this film don’t really inspire thoughts of the drama that launched Johnny Depp’s career; they look like an action comedy that even the dumbest of high school kids will be able to laugh at. The truth is, though, it is so much more. Yes, it’s dumb. Yes, the story is recycled. Oh yea, a lot of the characters are stereotypes as well. But it revels in these “problems.” It even makes fun of itself in self-aware, almost meta moments. There is something about being able to make fun of yourself that seems kind of endearing.
What really makes this movie great is the surprising Channing Tatum/Johan Hill comedy team. Hill is a lot thinner now, but still (almost) as funny as ever and Tatum plays his dumb-but-good-looking-jock-guy role to perfection. Who knew Tatum was funny? I did because of his tiny role in “The Dilemma,” but I thought his small supporting role in that movie was just enough Tatum. I figured, too much of him can ruin a film. I was wrong (and I don’t admit that much when it comes to movies).
Before I leave you, I have to mention Rob Riggle and Dave Franco:
Rob Riggle – because every time I see his name come up in the opening credits of a film, I do a little inner celebratory dance and look forward to which scene he is going to steal in the film.
Dave Franco – because I couldn’t figure out what I knew him from until I realized that it isn’t him that I really recognized… I recognized James Franco (his older brother) because they look EXACTLY ALIKE! And Dave is very good in this film.
That’s it for now, but go see “21 Jump Street” because I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy yourself or your money back (meaning I will give you the money back that you spent to read this article… not the money for your movie ticket).