December 2, 2012

Review: 21 Jump Street

In this day and age, a good comedy film is harder and harder to make. This is especially true of comedy films that involve both high schools and cop movies, as both of these areas are so well traversed that it is almost impossible to avoid falling into reliable (but boring) tropes. Fortunately, 21 Jump Street avoids this, and even covers new territory while not being completely alien.

The plot, obviously, starts derivative of the 1980s movie series. To get over this fact, the movie starts out with a pretty great joke making fun of the trends of movies just like it. Self-deprecation will always win points with me. The rest of the plot, while not entirely unpredictable, has enough twists and turns to make it not entirely predictable at the end. Yeah, its' a comedy, and comedies almost always end well. Still, the plot was different enough from the norm, with enough well written jokes, for it to be enjoyable.

One element that made it enjoyable as well was the acting. Jonah Hill gives a pretty good performance, as does Channing Tatum. The switch in roles as Hill becomes popular and Tatum becomes more "nerdy" is different enough that it felt clever. All of the supporting actors and actresses, of course, do a great job as well.

Ultimately 21 Jump Street is an enjoyable movie because it's well done. The plot is different enough and well written enough to avoid the many pitfalls that could occur for a buddy cop movie focused on high school. The actors actually care and give good performances. There's very little wrong with it, aside from the occasional pacing problem and the inevitable good ending. Still, it's good enough to watch, and you should definitely seek it out.

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