welcome to Mirrora monthly movie column in which I rewatch and then rewatch a movie I’ve already seen under the new (and improved?) critical lens of 2022. I’m so glad you’re here.
Well folks, we’ve finally found it: the most rear-viewing film to ever be rear-viewing. 21 jump streeta film I was hard on just 10 years ago and has aged like milk.
It’s not the fault of Phil Lord and Chris Miller! It was then that the mid-budget cinema’s response to the avengers-ification of the box office was to do everything that was in the 80s again. Remember the 2010s Karate Kid with Jaden Smith? Neither did Jaden Smith. So let me refresh your memory.
2009: Fame, Friday 13
2010: The Karate Kid, The A-team, freddie
2011: Free from all ties, arthur, Conan the Barbarian
2012: Red Dawn
2013: diabolical death
2014 : The equalizer, About last night, Everlasting love, Robotcop
Also in 2012: Skip the streetand the above avengerswhich was not a remake, but been a tentpole so gigantic it made even a goofy action-comedy based on a downright humble TV show. (Also, having been directed by J*ss Wh*d*n, it hasn’t aged well either, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about.)
When I saw 21 jump street, I was charmed, delighted, absolutely amused. Of course, I knew the plot: Young cops go undercover at a high school to sniff out drug dealers. But Lord and Miller, as they often do, put a clever spin on the central dynamic. The main duo, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, had been, respectively, jocks and geeks in high school, and even though they had become friends in the force, they hadn’t realized that for some time around the election of ‘Obama, what “cool” had changed. In 2012, the kind and conscientious Hill is considered inwhile Tatum’s ignorant macho shtick is outside. As in never been kissedthe nerd gets the chance to relive high school as one of the popular kids, but with added kudos to today’s teenagers: they’re awake!
I recognized this dynamic. In my high school, recycling was very important, and insults were a huge no-no. Lord and Miller totally get it! Tatum was so funny squinting on the hallucinogenic drug he was supposed to stalk, and when the substance gives Hill the confidence to belt “I Gotta Crow” from Peter Panmy friend, I tell you, I rift. The fact is that over the next 10 years, everything changed again. Cops, for starters.
In the film, Hill and Tatum are sent to the Jump Street Unit as a demotion after blowing an arrest by failing to inform a suspect of his Miranda rights. Not good then, but absolutely cringe now. The modern public is skeptical of the police even when they do their job well. When do they screw up? Difficult pass.
Sure, I look like a schoolteacher or a neocon the ways you couldn’t do 21 jump street Today, but the fact is that times are changing, and we can and must recognize that. Many central elements of this movie look different now than they did 10 years ago.
But OK, that’s an unavoidable part of the premise. You can’t make them be undercover firefighters or something. Then we come to the Brie Larson of it all. Shooting the movie this year, I could have sworn she was playing a popular young teacher or something, aging her through college, because I remembered her meeting Hill at the end. Then when it became clear that she was a high school girl flirting with Dave Franco, setting up a love triangle, I really assumed I had misremembered. She and Hill become friends, they don’t kiss! Then, towards the start of the third act, she makes it very clear to the audience that she is in fact 18 years old. And yes, there she is, kissing a 25-year-old just before the credits roll.
Now listen, it’s just a kiss, and it’s a movie. If a legal adult wants to put their mouth on another legal adult’s mouth, I won’t accuse anyone of promoting anything scary because of it. Pro-pedo, the film is not. But do I support this couple? No, no I’m not.
The third strike you could probably see coming from the title. In the climactic shootout, two secondary characters remove their prosthetics to reveal they’re the stars of the ’80s series! There are actually cameos everywhere, but you know the only one that matters is Johnny Depp, the nicest guy in Hollywood according to This article About him being in the movie. Cut to 10 years later and it was replaced in this Harry Potter spin off. Again, it’s not the fault of Lord, Miller, Hill or Tatum, but it doesn’t work anymore.
I haven’t seen the sequel. 22 jump street, which sees the characters doing their college thing. I remember it was funny and I’ll just assume it’s less of a problem. And of course I look like a schoolteacher or a neocon the ways you couldn’t do 21 jump street Today, but the fact is that times are changing, and we can and must recognize that. Many central elements of this movie look different now than they did 10 years ago.
Comedies always age unevenly. Styles of humor come and go, and the tensions that create jokes are sometimes simply unknown to modern audiences. Consider the many gay panic jokes on sitcoms of the 90s and 2000s. It was, at the time, a really fun idea that two straight best friends could end up in a situation where they had to kiss. yuck! OH MY GOD! Now… who cares? (A lot of people, a lot in Florida, but overall I’d like to think we’re a more tolerant society.)
Even the montage on drugs, which shouldn’t have suffered from the political winds, didn’t make me laugh as much as in the theatre. Compare that to the mushrooms in the 2007 Vegas sequence. knocked up, which made me dizzy the last time I watched it. Maybe because in Skip the streetthe journey follows a prescribed set of awkward phases, and in knocked up, character arc influences drug experience, not the other way around. It makes Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen introspective even though they’re freaking out on the chairs. And men who have emotional outbursts will never go out of style. Florida