Posts tagged Channing Tatum
This week’s Weekend Movie Preview column has my review of Steven Soderbergh’s crime thriller “Side Effects.”
Summary: Psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) finds his happy marriage and successful career crashing down around him after he prescribes his patient Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) a new antidepressant, which has unanticipated side effects.
Director: Steven Soderbergh (“Magic Mike,” “Haywire”)
Writer: Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion,” “The Informant”)
Notable Supporting Actors: Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mamie Gummer
Click here to read my take.
Excluding Kevin Smith’s “Cop Out” and Guy Richie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” buddy cop movies have been slowly fighting extinction. Despite their popularity prior to the year 2000, they’re no match for the big budget franchises and raunchy comedies that dominate the box office now. Fans shouldn’t despair though, because Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s “21 Jump Street,” represents a glimmer of hope for the ailing genre.
If you like the 80s TV series it’s based on, you’re probably worried that Hollywood ruined your beloved program, either by making it too serious like “Miami Vice,” or too silly like “Starsky & Hutch.” Set aside your fears though, because “21 Jump Street” is more like 1987’s “Dragnet,” riding the perfect line between homage and parody.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play Schmidt and Jenko, two former high school enemies, who become friends at the police academy, and then partners once they join the force. Like a classic buddy cop pairing, these two are as mismatched as they come: Schmidt is awkward and nerdy, while Jenko a cocky, dim-witted jock. There is one thing they have in common however, the delusion that becoming police officers will make them badasses.
The bubble bursts, when the pair is harassed by teenagers during their first assignment as bicycle cops. After spotting a motorcycle gang in possession of drugs, the hapless partners chase the suspects, managing to score their first bust. Unfortunately they forget to read the perp his rights, so he walks away scot free. Not only does their angry commanding officer (Nick Offerman) amusingly berate them, but he pokes fun at their transfer to a revived 80s undercover program.
Schmidt and Jenko’s new boss is the equally hilarious Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), who is a stereotypical black police captain that likes to yell. Dickson tasks Schmidt and Jenko with going undercover to infiltrate and take down a synthetic drug ring at their former high school. The partners reluctantly go back to school, where further comedy ensues.
As an action film, “21 Jump Street” satisfies with its car chases and gunfights, which pay fitting homage to the genre. Although where it really excels, is in its parody of established clichés and instances of madcap physical humor. Yes, it mocks clichés tied to buddy cop films, like explosions that don’t happen when you think they should, however an equal number of gags have to do with high school movie staples.
When Schmidt and Jenko arrive, they find that things have changed quite a bit since their time in high school. Hippie vegans comically rule the roost instead of the jocks, which places Schmidt with the popular kids and makes Jenko an outcast. Plenty of humor comes from seeing Tatum’s smug character trying to adapt to being uncool. The movie makes also cracks wise at the stereotype of guys in their late 20s trying to play high school students, through numerous jokes about old Jenko looks.
You’ll probably laugh the most at the zany physical humor in “21 Jump Street,” like the moment where Schmidt pushes a family friend over because she can’t keep his undercover assignment under wraps. You’ll giggle a lot too as you watch Schmidt and Jenko ruin a track relay and trash the band room after they take the synthetic drug in the movie.
“21 Jump Street” probably wouldn’t be half as effective without the chemistry of its two leads Hill and Tatum. The pair truly convinces you that Schmidt and Jenko are bros despite their differences, and hook you on the characters as a result. While normally the potential sequel set up at the end might normally induce a cringe, this reviewer wouldn’t mind seeing Hill and Tatum partner again for another buddy cop outing.
My Grade: B+
If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ve probably done things that you regret. At times, you may wish your significant other would simply forget your screw-ups, so these misdeeds couldn’t hang over your head. While a clean slate would be nice, what would you do if he or she suddenly couldn’t remember your entire experience together? That is the question Michael Sucsy’s romantic drama “The Vow” seeks to answer.
The lovers facing this very challenge are Leo and Paige (Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams), a young married couple from Chicago. Right from the start, the actors take great pains to show us how smitten these characters are, with numerous tender gestures: silly faces Paige makes at Leo, his warm breath on her cold hands, and Leo’s ridiculous Meatloaf karaoke in their car. A happy evening ride together quickly turns tragic however, as a truck rear-ends them, sending Paige flying through the windshield in unnecessary slow motion.
You’re never introduced to the truck driver, but that’s okay because what’s really important is “the moment of impact,” as Leo describes in his narration: a significant event that changes the course of your life. Much to our dismay, this particular moment places Paige in a coma.