Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
Written by: , ,
Genre: Comedy, Action
Colour, 109 Minutes
As a fan of the TV series that jump started (not a pun) Johnny Depp’s career, I was curious to see this film when I heard of it back in mid-2011. From various posters and the films trailer, the film looked like it was going to feature some washed up comedy and horrible clichés that kill the film. Well, the film definitely has clichés, but as some critics have been saying, it isn’t all that bad. In fact, the film actually had some excellent comedy making it surprisingly enjoyable; despite the mainstream label it has.
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are more than ready to leave their adolescent problems behind. Joining the police force and the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school. As they trade in their guns and badges for backpacks, Schmidt and Jenko risk their lives to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring.
The casting seemed odd as Jonah Hill, the star of Accepted (2006) and The Sitter (2012), is not exactly who I had in mind for the part. However, he did a good job in his performance, as it did not rely on an overacting and exaggeration, which many comedies do nowadays. Chaning Tatum plays Jenko, the typical muscular simple-minded ‘cool’ guy at school, who when we see him at the police academy, has changed a little.
Every character in the film is a character. Almost every single one has a developed personality and presence, such as the gym teacher, the science nerds and drug associated motor gang. Although not having character study, the characters are simply fun and entertaining to watch.
What really surprised me was when I saw Jonah Hill’s name in the executive producer and screenplay by credits. Hill co-wrote the screenplay alongside ,
The film is filled with self-aware clichés and stereotypes that were very laughable for their execution. We have stereotypes such as masculine gym teachers, nerdy kids in high school, young flirting teachers, and of course, social groupings we see throughout the film. The film does not rely on these as a comedy scapegoat, but as a way to laugh at them. The comedy in the film is not as ‘mainstream’ as what appears, but there are some jokes in there that felt too typical.
One other thing to note is the cameo of Johnny Depp (Tom Hanson in the TV series), which I honestly forgot about. Look out for him, as you may be surprised. The cameo was excellent alongside Peter DeLouise, the actor of Doug Penhall in the original series that is just plain fun to see.
Verdict: For fans of the show and newcomers alike, the film offers some good comedy and a plot that is full of sterotype-bashing characters and a nostalgic effect of 80’s teen movies.
Age Certificate: 15 (R)