Okay, so a lot of people are still skeptical about this 21 Jump Street movie that's coming out. The casting of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as the leads, the "modern day take" on the material, the fact that Johnny Depp isn't starring in it...yeah, I feel it's safe to say people aren't exactly thrilled about this one. Not yet, at least.
Today we have some new details on the style, plot and characters, of 21 Jump Street, courtesy of a Moviehole exclusive. And after reading over the material, I'll say what I said the first time I heard about this movie and who was headlining it: there's potential here.
Like the original '80s TV series, the 21 Jump Street movie will be about undercover cops using their youthful looks to infiltrate the world of youth crime. Instead of an entire unit of undercover officers, the movie will focus on just two characters, supposedly named Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum), who pose as high school students to help bust up a drug ring. To keep up appearances, the two cops move back home with their parents.
Here's a snippet of the info that Moviehole reported:
Couple of older cops, blessed with the young gene, go undercover in highschool. To keep up the facade, they’re both back living at home.Schmidt (Hill) and partner Zenko (Tatum) take on the guise of two teenage brothers new at Sagan High School.They’re there to put a stop to a drug ring, which by all indications is run by ‘coolest guy in the school’ Eric.Naturally, both Schmidt and Zenko are forced to befriend Eric, ultimately being welcomed into his gang, but Schmidt also decides to start spending time with the suspect’s squeeze Molly.Naturally, Doug develops feelings for the girl and ultimately risks his cover in an attempt to guard her from the impending drug bust at Prom.
There's a ton more, including what type of jokes are in the script, how the balance of action and humor is set, and basically how the entire movie plays out (including a special cameo). But for those SPOILERS you'll have to jump over to Moviehole.
I'm by no means ready to call this movie a slam dunk yet, but I think people who automatically diss it are being just a little dismissive - there is definite potential here. Even if you're not a fan of Jonah Hill, partnering him with Tatum definitely adds a touch of unpredictability in terms of onscreen chemistry. At the very least, nobody can say this is the same old "Jonah Hill movie" they've seen before.
Love the man or not, having Tatum onboard also means that there's potential for some solid action. I would personally love to see Jonah Hill trying to chase down a fleeing suspect on foot - the jokes practically write themselves.
But how far will the sexual humor involving adult cops and underage girls get pushed? Hopefully to "hilarious" level while still being shy of "offensive." If they can nail that narrow target, then this film could really be something.
Finally, I loved Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and call me crazy, but I trust the directors of that film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, to once again deliver a pleasantly unexpected surprise when 21 Jump Street arrives on March 16, 2012.