It’s not unusual for popular television shows to be transformed into movies. Some work, some don’t – but very few make the respected business magazine Forbes most profitable list such as 21 Jump Street did.
Big money is not as freely thrown around Hollywood as it once was. Only certain ‘tentpole’ studio films provide massive production budgets, advertising and media awareness spending, however, if a blockbuster fails to resonate with an audience, they may hardly break even until the DVD is released. Comedy can be difficult to make work, a hilarious script does not always balance on screen.
21 Jump Street was originally a retro action television series that sent Johnny Depp into the acting stratosphere. It was a risk in some areas to remake it for a modern audience. I believe the key to its massive success at the global box office in 2012 was the fact it was played for pure laughs and the pairing of an unlikely dynamic duo. Two time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill (Moneyball, Wolf of Wall Street) and man of the moment Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) created a hilarious onscreen pairing sparking delight from critics and audiences alike. Quadrupling its budget, a sequel was always going to happen.
22 Jump Street is already causing uncontrollable laughter amongst moviegoers from the oddball trailers alone. At a recent screening of comedy at my local cinema, the Jump Street trailer showed and the audience screamed, then cheered throughout, a far better reaction than the feature film they actually were there to see. On the current era of social media, studios track movements on their titles and 22 Jump Street is trending off the scale (according to Sony Films).
The premise of the youthful looking cops infiltrating high school to catch drug dealers lifts a notch as this time it’s off to college. Co-star and part time rapper Ice Cube has an extended role as the outspoken police chief providing added value to the movie. He is brilliant, rapid fire funny, all sharp wit. Son of the great Kurt Russell, Wyatt (yes, named after his dad’s Tombstone role as Wyatt Earp) remarkably turned down a role in the new Hunger Games film and potential notoriety in a much adored franchised to appear in this out of control comedy.
The difference of 22 Jump Street is the third act defies the usual clichés and openly makes fun of the ‘generic sequel’. In a smart move to the flip shenanigans, the actors practically look out the screen to stop everything they did last time to go off-beat. Unpredictable madness ensues while as in the original ‘reboot’, keep alert for amusing cameos and whatever you do don’t leave before the end credits. Profanity sells, I guarantee this will swing past Amazing Spiderman 2 in profits for Sony Pictures.
*On a final note you may be surprised why I adore these movies derived from television shows:
UNTOUCHABLES: Sean Connery and Kevin Costner at the top of their game, riveting drama.
CHARLIE’S ANGELS: Beautiful girls, rock and roll soundtrack, excessive stylish trash, but funny.
TWIN PEAKS FIRE WALK WITH ME: Brilliantly confusing prequel to the baffling 30 episodes.
BRADY BUNCH MOVIE: Perfect casting, perfect parody, great cameos and nods to innuendos.
WAYNES WORLD: One of the few re-watchable Saturday Night Live crossovers. You’ll hurl.
ADDAMS FAMILY: See above Brady Bunch Movie, add a Christina Ricci acting beyond her years.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.