High school sucks.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as young and clueless police officers who go undercover at a high school to investigate a drug ring, effectively giving them the opportunity to relive their student lives all over again.
The idea of remaking an old TV show as a movie doesn’t seem too promising. However, all of those problems were gone as soon as I saw the hilarious Red-Band trailer for this one and then I got to see the actual film itself and it was so much better than I expected.
The whole structure of this flick is pretty simple: put two bros in uncomfortable situations, have them run into a problem, and then have a nice, but action-packed resolution. However, that structure doesn’t go down so easily here considering it doesn’t go for the cheap laughs and isn’t afraid to poke a little fun at itself in the meantime. This is one of the funnier flicks that I have seen in recent time because it has raunch that is deserved, jokes that hit the mark just about every time, and a bit of satire about how high school really is in today’s world which definitely hit a lot closer to home for me and seemed so true. Everything is so much different today from what it used to be and instead of the philosophical, softer kids being the ones you shoved in lockers, they are now all of a sudden the cool kids that find their ways as being hailed at the end of the year as “the one most likely to succeed and be uber cool”. It’s something I see in school today and even though I’m not really trying to complain about it, I just still find it funny that a film that takes place in high school is able to hit the mark so perfectly.
What’s really strange about this flick is that it’s actually from the directing duo of Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, aka the guys behind the animated hit ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’. It’s definitely a strange pick-up for these guys to go from kiddie flick about obesity to an R-rated comedy but they somehow are able to make transition work with their strange ideas to keep this flick moving. The film isn’t unpredictable by any means but there is so much here that seems so funny and original, that you wonder exactly why none of this hasn’t been done before and just why it’s so easy for these two dudes to do it and comedy director veterans still can’t hit the right marks. One funny example from this flick is the drug-montage scene they have here. Every flick that has to do with drugs in one way or another all have a weird montage, but this film takes that one step further and makes it so much more funnier than it had any right to be and that’s just one scene. There are so many more like them that made me laugh like crazy.
However (yes, there is always a however), as fresh as this flick may be, it does start to falter by the end as it dives more towards action and loses a bit of its comedic edge. I didn’t mind this as much considering the action is surprisingly very good but everything ends so predictably that it’s a shame considering this flick really had me thinking I was about to see a new and original twist on this type of formula, only I never got that. It also seemed a little strange that Hill’s character starts to get more and more attracted to Brie Larson’s high school character even though she’s a little too young for him. Then again, it could happen so don’t mind me.
The main reason why I was looking forward to this flick in the first place was because of the strange pairing of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and they both deliver in their own little ways. Hill is once again hilarious here (in a slightly less fatter way) and makes it seem like comedy can come to him so easily no matter what the script demands. Then again, a lot of it does start to seem like it’s just improv, which is definitely a lot better for Hill considering he owns that. I was also incredibly happy to see my main man Channing, finally get a role that suited him with his action and comedic skills. Tatum was hilarious in the strange flick, ‘The Dilemma’, and it was great to see him show his comedic skills once again, this time playing up his meat-head look for laughs. Both of these guys play-off of each other perfectly every time they are on-screen together and it was such a blast to see these guys having a blast that I wanted more of them on-screen. So glad these guys were able to nail these roles considering Hollywood has been really finding it hard where to put them lately.
The supporting cast is also great and all play up their own comedic skills to add more to the flick. Ice Cube is funny as the predictable, angry black chief that always seems to be yelling and dropping the F-bomb every time the film focuses on him but he plays that up perfectly and hopefully this will get him back in doing better comedies than ‘Are We There Yet?’; Dave Franco has a funny performance here as the wise-ass high school kid, Eric, and reminded me so much of James Franco that it was too funny to be true; and Rob Riggle has his hilarious moments as the creepy gym teacher that always seems to be effing around with these kids. There’s also a totally memorable cameo at the end of the flick that’s perfect but I don’t want to give anything away because it is definitely something has to be seen to be believed.
Consensus: 21 Jump Street isn’t really doing anything to re-invent the buddy-action comedy wheel, but the chemistry between Hill and Tatum, the rapid fire humor, and the fresh and brutally realistic look at the present-day high school make this a comedy that actually will make you laugh consistently.
Not necessarily “the female Hangover”, but still funny altogether.
Named as her best friend’s maid of honor, down-on-her-luck Annie’s (Kristen Wiig) competition with a fellow bridesmaid, the wealthy and beautiful Helen (Rose Byrne), threatens to destroy the wedding. Meanwhile, a local cop takes a liking to Annie.
When this first came out, I didn’t want to see it at all probably because it looked like a straight-up chick flick, that I would probably get dragged to seeing with my lady. Although it took me over a month to check it out, I’m glad I actually did.
First things first, this film is funny. Not hilarious, not un-funny, just funny. I went in expecting some chuckles here and there, but I laughed a lot with this film because it’s dirty and witty which is very hard to find in any comedy today. Comedy, is usually a dude’s world, but it was cool to see some good humor come from the mouth of a lady, and be equally as funny as some other guy comedies that I’ve seen recently. I’m talking about you Hangover Part II.
My main problem with this film is that it is very uneven. The story structure here made this film just seem like a bunch of funny sketches, instead of a whole film and without those story elements in place, the story in my opinion just started to drag and drag. I mean the film is over 2 hours long and although I liked how they showed a lot of these characters for their imperfections and also tried to get a deep story out of this material, I just found myself checking my watch almost every 5 minutes waiting for this thing to actually wrap-up.
Kristen Wiig is always good in her little bit roles in films like Adventureland and Knocked Up, as well as her stint on SNL, but her leading role as Annie here wasn’t anything special which kind of disappointed me since I always laugh at her in anything she does. At any given moment, Wiig can be really really funny but at the end of the film I didn’t feel like she was one singular character, but more a series of sketch-roles. Despite that, Wiig is still funny but for this role she needed to be more of an actress to make us emotionally sympathize with her rather than just doing a bunch of wacky comedy.
The rest of the cast here is very good at everything they do. Maya Rudolph is putting on some big pounds, but is still good as the bride; Rose Byrne is perfect as the perfect and beautiful, other best-friend, Helen; Melissa McCarthy had me laughing my ass off just about every time she was on screen as Megan; and even though they don’t have too much to do Wendi McClendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper are good too. Jon Hamm is a total deucher in this film, but funny still as Wiig’s “eff-buddy”, and Chris O’Dowd is a delight to watch on-screen as Wiig’s other lover, Rhodes.
Consensus: Although it doesn’t work as a good structure for its story, Bridesmaids still has some very good performances from a very funny cast, that gives this material more laughing power, even when it does start to seem over-long.