21 Jump Street Blu-ray Review
When I was in fifth grade, my class had to fill out note cards answering questions about ourselves that would be posted in the hallway. One of the questions was “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and my answer was “a teenage cop”. Yes, I was a huge fan of ’21 Jump Street’ and watching Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise go undercover in high school every week was always exciting. Of course, a few years passed by and I decided being a teenage cop wasn’t for me, mainly because there’s no such thing, but also because the show got cancelled and I lost interest. I thought my 21 Jump Street days were over, that is until I sat down to watch the 2012 movie, made nearly 21 years after the last episode of the TV show aired. And I could not have been more impressed. I only wish I could still pass for a teenager.
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are two below average cops that get sent to Jump Street to go undercover in the local high school to bust a drug ring. But Schmidt and Jenko just aren’t partners; they have a history together ranging from Jenko’s bullying of Schmidt in high school to them being best friends years later. Both of them have a lot of unresolved issues from high school and going back forces them to deal with those issues while still trying to do their job as policemen. One of the more creative twists was having their roles reversed, where Schmidt is now the cool kid and Jenko is the outcast. The dynamic works exceptionally well and adds a layer of depth to our heroes that adds to the overall enjoyment of the film. And, shockingly, gives both Schmidt and Jenko some character development as we see them become better people and better cops.
21 JUMP STREET will make you laugh, which is good since it’s a comedy. But it will also pull you into the story and make you fully invested into the plights of the characters. The pacing of the film was handled exceptionally well, barely giving the audience time to catch their breath (I had to pause a few times for fear of missing the next joke) before the next gag came along. But what sets this apart from other films of its genre is that the comedy makes sense. The filmmakers address the cheesiness and disbelief of the film head on. It wasn’t just the audience that thought Tatum and Hill looked too old for high school, everyone in the film thought so too. The filmmakers knew their material and it was evident as they paid homage to the old TV show in very subtle ways and with very creative cameos. They also didn’t take themselves too seriously, which made every joke work to perfection.
I’ve always been of the belief that the blend of action and comedy usually doesn’t work. Every now and again you get lucky (TROPIC THUNDER), but more often than not, you come out disappointed (STARSKY AND HUTCH). The fact that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller managed to make a hilarious movie and one that has action (funny action, at that) should be commended. Throughout the entire film, I found myself laughing uncontrollably and being fully vested in the plot. I cared about the relationship between Schmidt and Jenko to the point where I felt sad when Jenko felt betrayed and happy when Schmidt started to overcome some his high school fears. These are not characters you want to see in a single film and then forget about, these are franchise characters you want to see over and over again.
Video: The video looked great, with colors popping off the screen. In some of the scenes in Schmidt’s house, I thought the colors were a bit saturated, but that’s probably due to some odd lighting in the film and not the fault of the transfer.
Audio: The audio was wonderful, utilizing the surround channels very well.
Audio Commentary: Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller get together with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum to give us a fun commentary to listen to, but since there are four people there’s not a lot of substance. If you enjoyed the film then this is worth checking out if you have some extra time.
Deleted Scenes (29:32): There’s a hilarious scene here where Schmidt and Jenko try to justify to themselves that sleeping with high school girls is okay. We also get an extended scene of a high Jenko interrupting the band. Both of these scenes are hilarious. With a couple of exceptions, most of these scenes could have fit nicely in the film.
Gag Reel (4:58): There’s a lot of improv in 21 JUMP STREET and the gag reel shows a lot of the scenes that didn’t quite work. If you enjoyed the film, you’ll enjoy this.
Cube-O-Rama (1:53): It seemed Ice Cube was hardly in 21 JUMP STREET, but he did get his own short featurette.
Back to School (7:43): This is a brief featurette about how much high school has changed and how it was a major backdrop to the film. Fairly interesting but nothing I would watch again.
Brothers in Arms (6:24): A little stint about the pairing of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 JUMP STREET.
Johnny Depp on Set (4:42): Everyone talks about the Johnny Depp cameo and how great he was on ’21 Jump Street’.
The Rob Riggle Show (9:24): Everyone talks about how much they love Rob Riggle and we get some behind-the-scenes stuff and more film clips.
Peter Pan on the Freeway (4:12): A little bit about the chase scene from 21 JUMP STREET on the freeway. Not sure this was worth including.
UV Digital Copy