21 Jump Street
2012 action comedy
Plot: A pair of high school classmates, an outcast and a popular jock, become policemen and are sent undercover to a high school to find out who's behind the spread of a dangerous new drug.
I started watching this very late one night and could not stop laughing. I was enjoying 21 Jump Street, and I immediately figured that something was wrong with me. Since I was afraid my laughter (and keep in mind that I don't really laugh out loud unless there's somebody else in the room who I want to think that I'm smart enough to understand the humor) would wake up my wife, I decided to shut this off. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if this was just as funny the next day. And it wasn't, but I'm not sure what that means. First, I think this kind of humor really does work better when the viewer is really tired. However, I think there's a shift here after the characters have a sort of role reversal, and that development really bogged things down after a while. The movie also gets a little more serious and really really loud, and after a while, it just loses steam. I did like Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, the latter who has really grown on me. Hill's got the lips of a woman though. I do want to point that out. They work well together and have the kind of rapport that makes this sort of buddy comedy thing work. Nick Offerman, the star of Sin City, brings his mustache to this story, and James Franco's brother and somebody named Dax Flame are also in there. Dax Flame is not--hold on because this might surprise you--his real name. He was born Madison Patrello. Chris Parnell is almost always funny, and although I really don't like comedian Rob Riggle, he's got his moments in this. Oh, and Ice Cube's in there, Ice Cubing it up. When this movie is silly, it works. When the pedestrian, predictable story gets too much in the way, it's just not as good. I did like the meta-humor. Ice Cube's character points out that he's a stereotype, there's a fun cameo (leading to a great death scene) which is a nod to the television series, and there's a joke about the recycling of ideas that is funny. The movie also has a little to say, albeit superficially, about high school cliques and even race. Very superficially actually, but that commentary is there. The closing credits are also cute. Oh, and there's a nice Wilhelm Scream in there. This didn't turn out as good as the first half hour or so led me to believe it would be, but I'm glad I watched it and will probably check out the sequel eventually.