Saturday, April 7, 2012

21 Jump Street, a brief review

I've never seen the original show, and I have little interest in doing so. However, this little film completely surprised me. I will sketch seven reasons why you should go see this flick.

1) The comedy is rarely shock-inducing (though I'm not opposed to that kind of comedy), relying on buddy chemistry and dialogue. Each scene has specific comedic beats and it manages to nail them each time. Jonah Hill and Tatum work wonders with a great script.

2) The acting is stellar, with Tatum appearing shirtless not once. And he's damn funny. I think he should explore more roles like this.

3) The action scenes are competent and actually have an air of originality. I won't spoil anything, but chemistry is pretty awesome. While Hot Fuzz had the gross out factor, 21 Jump Street has it's tongue planted firmly in cheek and manages to show off some sweet kill shots.

4) The guys who directed Chicken Run directed this.

5) There is a point to the movie, and on top of lampooning cliche and embracing cliche the film works incredibly well. Each time there is a chance to exploit a joke, the writers don't do it. They play by the rule of comedic thirds, but they expand upon the spirit of said rules.

6) My sister squealed when she spotted an unsuspecting cameo. I actually laughed as well.

7) I actually laughed several times during each ten minute segment, more than fulfilling "Nick's Comedy Timing."*

Go see it.

4 out of 5 stars.


* -- for a comedy to be good (and this is subjective), I expect one laugh (also subjective) every ten minutes. Roughly 10 laughs per film. I got more than double that in this film.

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