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21 Jump Street is a reboot that takes an opposite direction from the TV series. After several drafts of the script, Jonah Hill suggested doing it as a comedy. 21 Jump Street is a success because it honors the past but takes it in a different direction. Cory and John close out the 80’s TV to Movies triple with this laugh filled ride.
21 Jump Street:
I didn’t know how to feel with the prospect of this movie. I enjoyed the TV series a lot, but knew this going to be totally different. But I buckled up and for the most part enjoyed the ride.
In high schools Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was the nerd and outcast while Jenko (Channing Tatum) was the popular dumb jock. Years later they both end up in the police academy. They learn to work together as a team so that both will pass. They are relegated to becoming bike cops in the park. After they both fail to capture a biker gang they are demoted to undercover work with the program at 21 Jump Street.
Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) says they will play high school brothers. They are trying to infiltrate, discover and shut down the drug ring operating there. They are stuck living at Schmidt’s parents house. They check out a sweet ride for the assignment from the motorpool from Officer Judy Hoffs (Holly Robinson Peete), who played a character with the same name in the TV series. When they get to high school, everything Jenko says will be cool is not and the tables are turned. They forget their covers and get them switched. Schmidt is playing the cool kid and Jenko is playing the nerd. They quickly meet Eric Molson (Dave Franco) who plays the eco friendly, college bound drug dealer and Molly Tracey (Brie Larson) the smart drama girl. Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) is a teacher, track coach and Schmidt & Jenko discover that he is the drug kingpin.
Schmidt & Jenko have to grow and adapt to play the undercover rolls they have been given. They each learn from the social circle they have been dropped in. Jenko rounds us the techie nerds to help tap Eric’s phone. Schmidt lands a role as Peter Pan in the school play with Molly and their connection helps him get in with the popular kids. After Schmidt & Jenko throw a killer party and run off the rival drug dealers, Schmidt gets in with Eric as a dealer.
While following the biker gang (they tried to bust earlier) they get into a fight. Schmidt sees this round of high school as a way to move past his bad experience. Jenko realizes that Schmidt is gotten sucked into the cover story and needs help. They fight and get expelled. But Eric now trusts them and gets them to be his security for a deal between his orginization and the bikers happening during the prom. So Schmidt and Jenko mend fences and suit up to crash the prom.
They head to the prom with the nerds (and hookers playing the nerds’ dates). Schmidt tries to talk with Molly but she is high. They head up to the hotel suit to fine Mr. Walters is the king pin. The bikers show up and Schmidt and Jenko try to hide so they don’t get recognized. But their cover is blown. But two of the bikers are undercover DEA officers. Schmidt & Jenko have blown their case. Turns out the DEA officers are none other than Officer Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Officer Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise) two of the original 21 Jump Street officers in this reality (as well as the TV show). A shootout occurs and before the TV is shot out we get to see (TV series actor) Dustin Nguyen. Hanson & Penhall are both killed but not before monologuing. Schmidt & Jenko kill off the bikers in a lemo chase and then stop Mr. Walters and make their first bust.
They celebrate and Captain Dickson gives them a new assignment. They are going to college, paving the way for the next movie.
Overall 21 Jump Street works because of the comedy and the chemistry between Hill and Tatum. The comedy is wacky and over the top at times. But they play enough homage to the original series that I’m OK with it. I didn’t watch this movie before, because I was afraid that the comedy would ruin the serious procedural nature of the original. But I feel like this stands on it’s own and I’m fine with it. I loved the original cast cameos and the honor it paid to them. Overall it was a fun ride.
The movie starts with Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” and contains a mix of songs from various decades.
Buy the soundtrack for both 21 & 22 Jump Street here.
Name That Movie:
The clue this week was: We left off at “T2.” T2 stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold also starred in this comedy with an unlikely brother.
Which lead us to the following movie: The movie is “Twins.”
The next Triple will be: “Schwarzenegger Comedies.” We’ll discuss “Twins,” “Kindergarten Cop” and “The Last Action Hero.”
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