Film: A remake of “21 Jump Street”

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March 23rd, 2012

Omaha, NE – Can an adaptation of an old, unsuccessful TV show actually be entertaining? From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at 21 Jump Street.

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Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum starring in "21 Jump Street."

Ryan: Be honest, what did you expect from Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum starring in a remake of 21 Jump Street.

Matt: I don’t think I can use the exact term on the radio, so I’ll just say I was less enthused than an NRA member at a Phish concert.

Ryan: Hill, who also helped write the script, must have sensed your trepidation.

Matt: I’ve often suspected we’re spiritually connected, he and I.

Ryan: So what he did was write into the script material that indicates the makers were fully aware how terrible this premise truly is.

Matt: Terrible is too kind. Hill and Tatum play high-school adversaries who later meet up and become friends at the police academy, only to find out they are wholly incompetent as officers of the law. So they get busted to a special assignment, reporting to an angry officer played by Ice Cube who oversees them infiltrating a high-school as students in order to find out the source of a new designer drug.

Ryan: After sly wink-winking and clever nod-nodding, the film flies into unreal comedy, complete with car chases, gunfights and the like. All the while commenting on the idiocy and expectations for movies like this. And here’s the shocking part: It’s really funny.

Matt: The comedy works best by playing against the popular movie motif that high-school is fun. High-school is and was terrible. Hormonal, uneducated miscreants torment and torture each other in taxpayer funded institutions of horror.

Ryan: Don’t hold back, buddy. What 21 Jump Street does well is what Hill perfected with Superbad. Specifically, there’s an element of sincerity and sweetness to the friendship that helps temper an otherwise raunchy experience. The result is an unexpected treat.

Matt: Telling people how hilarious a comedy is may be the easiest way to ruin it, so please don’t take this as saying it’s the funniest laugh riot in ages.

Ryan: Rather, it’s just a surprisingly entertaining and funny flick that had promised to be anything but!

Matt: From the KVNO Arts Desk, this has been Matt Lockwood and Ryan Syrek from Movieha.

Editorial Note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at thereader.com.

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