21 Jump Street—the movie based on the TV show—opens to the strains of an Eminem song. So I guess the writers also decided to cadge a trick from the movie that Marshall Mathers starred in—namely 8 Mile—and name check all the stupid stunts they were going to pull by putting up signposts that highlighted those moments before any reviewer, ticket-buying customer or blogger ever could.
Well congratulations Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill, you got us. You got us all.
There is nothing I can say about uni-dimensional stereotyping of characters in this movie. Character description is also the dialogue (Two birds one stone dude. Let’s go party!), cliché schtick is the norm and the writers were clearly working overtime to exceed every other gross-out studio movie in existence in the pursuit of a cheap laugh and big bucks.
Congratulations directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (they also helmed Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and executive produced a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother) you did it. And you got us too.
There are issues with pacing from the get go. The performances are…not exactly top shelf. Could it be because the filmmakers treated all the characters like the dolls (action figures, whatever!) they used to play with as kids?
What do I mean?
How about, “Ooh, ooh, Brie Larson is going to play the cute girl who is ‘good’ but she hangs out with the drug-dealing cool kids because, like, who else is she going to be friends with?”
Or, “Hey Ice Cube! Wasn’t he like in N.W.A. or something? So he’s angry huh? And he’s black. So, like, let’s make him that. And have him swear a lot.”
Or—and this is the best one yet—“how about we take the dumb jock (Channing Tatum) and the science geek (Jonah Hill) and we switch their characters around—like Freaky Friday but without the gross body switching BS—so that the geek gets to be cool (which is totally in right now by the way) and the jock gets to see how awful it was to be a geek.”
And there we have it people. A movie.
I cannot say I felt the love for this big screen reboot of the 25-year-old TV show. I know I laughed a few times in the theatre but that was more because of how uncomfortable my companion was, not because the antics of Messrs. Tatum and Hill were anything to write home about.
So go ahead guys, laugh all the way to the bank. Me, I’ll be sitting right here, shaking my head.