"The Official New 21 Jump Street Post (Lord and Miller, 2012)"
Before I begin, I should say the directors did Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and the writer wrote Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. That's a pretty damn good sign, and I should've been more excited than I was.
This is a funny flick. Quite funny. The funniest of these TV show updates by a country mile.
Its parodies of the action genre, the high school movie genre, and the lazy studio remake genre are on the money. The script has a number of quotable lines, visual gags, and the score by Mark Mothersbaugh (whose score for Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs was similarly brilliant) toes that line between earnestness and parody very nicely.
Like pretty much all of the funniest studio comedies nowadays, it is at least 10 minutes too long, maybe 15. The inevitable conflict between Tatum and Hill is necessary but a little sitcommy... no more sitcommy though than the conflicts in Bridesmaids or other successful studio comedies. But the funny stuff hits.
Hill is obviously funny, but Tatum was the real surprise here. He's very comfortable being funny and self-deprecating-- I liked this turn much more than, say, Mark Wahlberg in The Other Guys. Brie Larson is really cute and charming in that cornfed Midwestern kind of way, Dave Franco has very good FRANCOesque comedic timing as a very atypical villain, and the film has appearances by two actors who make every movie better, Chris Parnell and Rob Riggle. Parnell's drama teacher had me howling.
Most importantly, even though there are loads of the pre-requisite dick and vagina jokes, there are really only two "gross-out gags" in the film-- and both of them, much like the sink-shitting in Bridesmaids, feel generated from the plot and not gratuitous. One of these comes close to the end of the film, and I didn't think I'd laugh as hard as I did.
Definitely worth a look when it comes out. Not that it's saying much, but it's funnier than most studio comedies I've seen in the past two years. Pretty much anything Lord and Miller direct, I'll be checking out from now on.