Hill shines in first slim role

The first preview for 21 Jump Street, reboot of a TV show starring Johnny Depp, felt like it came out six months before the movie was actually released in theaters. Because my friends and I usually see a movie once a week, we saw this trailer approximately 107 times (Give or take a few). If 21 Jump Street were a person, it would have contracted”over-trailered disease.” In order to contract this disease, a movie must develop three symptoms:

1. First trailer hits theaters months in advance

Only blockbuster movies should release their trailers in theaters months in advance because we care about movies like Harry Potter, The Dark Knight Rises, Twilight and The Hunger Games. 21 Jump Street is not a blockbuster. However, when I saw the trailer, I thought it was funny. That was before 21 Jump Street developed stage two of the infectious disease.

2. Constant display of the trailer

Whereas this may not be a problem for most people because they don’t go to movies every week like I do, it’s a huge problem for movie critics like me. I think every movie I went to see this year had a trailer for 21 Jump Street. Because of this, everything in the trailer wasn’t that funny anymore and I didn’t really want to see the movie. This is nothing compared to the third and final stage of this disease, which is often fatal to the film.

3. The continued constant display of the trailer

A movie reaches this stage when you can recite the trailer and the song used in the movie trailer gets stuck in your head when you leave the theater. A few movies a year reach this stage and it is usually inoperable. When I lean to my left or right to one of my friends and say, “I can’t wait ’till this movie comes out so we can stop seeing the trailer.” a movie has tested positive for over-trailer disease. Unfortunately for 21 Jump Street, it contracted this disease.

A lot of movies suffer from this disease including most recently John Carter. John Carter looked awful to begin with and then we had to see the trailer approximately 516 times before the movie actually came out in March. John Carter flopped in the U.S. making an abysmal $30 million during its opening weekend.

Despite everything I said above, 21 Jump Street beat the odds and made a full recovery from over-trailered disease.

The clever thing about the 21 Jump Street preview is that most of the trailer made up the first few minutes of the film. Once that was over, the audience got to see mostly new material for the next hour and 45 minutes.

Another thing that impressed me was its originality. Although it follows the usual steps of a basic comedy (That is the two main characters are friends. Then they having a falling out, but become friend again in the end), it didn’t try to build off the success of other comedies. 21 Jump Street veered off in another direction, which made for an original comedy. It made fun of certain stereotypes about movies. It even made fun of itself for being a reboot of an 80s TV show.

Jonah Hill is still funny even after losing weight. He turned in his usual comedic performance. Hill and Channing Tatum worked very well together. Tatum showed his versatility in this film and I’m really starting to like him as an actor.

Everything that I bashed Project X for a few weeks ago 21 Jump Street did the exact opposite. 21 Jump Street also answered my call for all comedies to stop trying to be The Hangover.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Although we saw the trailer 800 times before the movie came out the comedy was fresh and easily the best of the 2012 movie season.

I’ll give 21 Jump Street 4 out of 5 cups.

       

As of March 25, 21 Jump Street made a domestic total of approximately $70 million versus a production budget of $42 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

21 Jump Street has a rating of 85% at Rotten Tomatoes while users at the Internet Movie Database gave it 7.7 out of 10 stars.

To see the movie trailer for 21 Jump Street, click here.

CUP OF JOE UPDATE:

The Hunger Games made a phenomenal domestic total of $152 million during its opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. With the box office total, The Hunger Games had the third biggest opening weekend ever behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Dark Knight.

I decided to avoid the crowds this weekend, but I’ll see The Hunger Games this weekend. I’ll have a review next week.

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About dukemich

Samuel L. Jackson
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