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Film Review: 21 Jump Street
Jump up and get down.
So the omens weren’t really so great. The proposal of seeing yet another ‘remake’, ‘re-imagining’ of a nostalgic (pickpocketing) trip down memory lane, just clangs the alarm bells, warning you that you are entering the ‘No Imagination/Originality Zone’.
The fact that the projector broke down seconds into the preview trailers of forthcoming potential inhabitants of said Zone, said culprits being ‘Men In Black III’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, things were getting uncomfortable seat shifty. The projector fixed, everything got back on track and just catapulted forward into ever increasing awesomeness.
The thing is, both the trailers looked amazing! The series that is ‘Men In Black’ is pretty much guaranteed great fun, and there’s some really beautiful cinematography in the Spider-Man trailer, which I wasn’t expecting. With great casts in both movies, I’m now really looking forward to seeing the end results.
Going from strength to strength we accelerate to almost hyper speed as ‘21 Jump Street’ starts. And what a ride. There’s still a slight echo at the back of your mind about yet more rehashes. The speed we are now going at, that’s forgotten in nanoseconds.
The background set up is dealt with in minutes and is somewhat familiar, polar opposite characters (the jock and the nerd) being forced into a situation where they end up having to work together. Our first glimpse of Schmidt (Jonah Hill) is genius at setting up the disparity between where he’d like to be and where cruel faith actually has him, as a lowly nerd. Jenko (Channing Tatum) is the school jock who seems to have everything, well except intelligence.
Now paired up graduates of the Police academy, they’ve realised that helping each other can get results. But the movie is still very aware of our potential cynicism regarding a remake, haven’t we’ve seen this before, and immediately spins it on its head. The scene where the Police Captain (Nick Offerman) is informing the hapless duo of their new assignment is just wonderful. You don’t have to have seen the original ‘21 Jump Street’ to appreciate the fantastic self aware dialogue that ensues.
Once again that spinning just gets faster as the movie progresses, clearly no convention is safe as the adventure begins. Sent back to school as undercover agents by their new Captain ‘Teenage the f*ck up!’ Dickson (Ice Cube who steals every scene he’s in just by swearing) to find the ring leaders who are selling the latest drug ‘HFS’ (Holy F*cking Shit) on the corridors. There has been a student death as a result of taking HFS, so the obvious solution is….to throw a party?
There’s so many wonderfully inventive scenes in this movie, it’s incredible. The dialogue is some of the finest comedy I’ve heard/seen. Richly layered and will bare many repeated viewing. All the cast clearly had an amazing time while making the movie, with brilliant natural comedy timing from everyone, but in particular Channing, who really is fantastic.
It’s refreshing, frantic, frenetic, sweary, surreal, insane, naughty and an utter joy to watch. Everyone in the screening I saw laughed non stop from opening titles to end credits. Tons of amazingly inspired surprises, you’ll laugh every time you think of Korean Jesus. I’d try to stay away from reading reviews though (except this one of course) for potential spoilers.
21 Jump Street is released on 16th March by Sony Pictures.
8th March 2012
The Raven is based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe, considered to be the inventor of the modern detective story, and in particular focuses on an event where Poe had disappeared for a few days, only to be discovered sitting disorientated on a park bench, on the cusp of death.