14/03/2012

21 Jump Street


I genuinely don't understand what thoughts enter the mind of your average film producer when it comes to green-lighting films like 21 Jump Street; obviously they don't have to bother spending too much time setting up a premise because most people (i.e. Americans over 25) already know what it's about thanks to many evenings spent watching a young Johnny Depp do whatever it was he did. Call me crazy, but their target audience probably don't know much about the original show so why didn't they just have the exact same premise (cops go undercover at a high school to bust a drug ring) but with a different name? I imagine most smart people will have thought the same thing but the moment Schmidt and Jenko's captain acknowledges Hollywood's insatiable thirst for recycling old shit and passing it off as new in a wry and chucklesome speech, it becomes clear that everyone involved in 21 Jump Street is on our side and are fully capable of making fun of themselves.

*clears throat* AND THAT'S NOT ALL! It's essentially a very funny and self-aware (not in the annoying Shrek way) teen movie with a hefty dash of a buddy comedy; when producer and star Jonah Hill said it was going to be a "R-rated, insane, Bad Boys-meets-John Hughes-type movie", he weren't lying. Consistent laughs are provided while updating some old teen movie tropes and unlike some other lacklustre recent offerings, you actually believe the well-drawn core relationship and care about the outcome, no matter how obvious. If this and The Cabin in the Woods are anything to go by, we're definitely witnessing the return of teen movies.