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21 Jump Street: Ridiculously Fun & Hilarious Action Comedy
A purely emotional review of this film would consist of a lot of uppercase letters, a bunch of acronyms, hell yeahs, plenty of celebratory swear words and a positive slew of exclamation marks. However, we do have to be a bit more articulate than that, so here goes.
While 21 Jump Street may not be the ’best film ever’, it’s definitely the most fun we’ve had in the cinema this year – by a long shot. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play Schmidt and Jenko; a quintessential high school nerd and dumb jock, respectively. The duo manages to get over their mutual high school hatred of each other and bond in the Police Academy where they soon become partners and best friends. Due to their youthful appearances and highly immature ways, they’re stationed as undercover policemen in a high school where a new drug is going round; one that’s already resulted in the death of a student. Their assignment is to infiltrate the dealers and find the supplier before the drug spreads to any of the other schools. On their first day undercover though, they find that high school has completely changed. Nerds are now in, dumb jocks are out and the partners find themselves navigating through completely different high school experiences than their first time around.
What makes this film so much fun to watch is that Hill and Tatum are plainly having a ton of fun onscreen. The story is basically about two dorks who, despite their training in the Police Academy, still harbour a fantasy that being a policeman involves a ton of car chases, explosions and gunfights. They’re fundamentally immature and seem to think Die Hard is an accurate portrayal of an officer’s day to day life, but their attitude is infectious and watching the film is a rather exhilarating experience. The duo play off of each other perfectly; their comedic timing is impeccable and their relationship is so cute that at times, it’s touching. The film also has a solid supporting cast with Dave Franco as an eco-friendly drug dealer, Ice Cube as a pissed-off commanding officer, and a surprise cameo that is just too awesome to spoil!
The film isn’t just a comedy though, it has some pretty sweet action sequences as well. We get car chases, explosions, fist fights and shoot-outs galore. And despite the amount of action in the film, it’s doesn’t feel superfluous in anyway; it really manages to balance the fast pace action and humour – bringing out characters that you really end up caring for and sympathising with.
In conclusion, just go see it. It’s a ton of fun and it’s worth both your time and your money.
It should be pretty clear by now that if you’ve seen one Nicolas Sparks film - Notebook, The Last Song, A Walk to Remember - you’ve seen them all. Continuing in the trend of relentlessly sappy romantic melodramas, The Choice - adapted to the big screen by Bryan Sipe and directed by Ross Katz - will speak to those who are willing to listen. However, those who prefer their movies with a little less cheese might want to rethink their order.
Set in a small idyllic coastal town in North Carolina, the story is centred on Gabby Holland (Palmer); a medical student who has moved away from the chaotic city life for some peace and quiet while studying to become a doctor. Unfortunately, the peace she was looking for is not to be found as she has moved in next door to, Travis Shaw (Walker); a handsome veterinarian, who, along with his on-and-off girlfriend, Monica (Daddario), enjoys throwing loud parties and get-togethers, much to Gabby’s distaste.
At first, the two are at each other’s throats, with Gabby not withholding her obvious exasperation with the hunky neighbour. However, when their significant others - including Gabby’s boyfriend Ryan (Welling) - conveniently disappear from the picture for a few days, it’s not long before the two fall for one another.
Logic, common sense and reality, are nowhere to be found in this idyllic romantic setup, set along a sun-dappled coastline where each sunset is better than the next. For fans of this particular brand of romantic movie, what ‘connection’ the two leads manage to cultivate is satisfying enough. Unfortunately, for those who might be a little bit more grounded and connected to reality, this latest heavy serving of romantic sap just won’t do.
Sticking unremittingly to its formulaic mould, The Choice - boasting all of the worst romantic movie tropes under the sun - is the definition of derivativeness, featuring plenty of hand-holding, eye-gazing and corny romantic exchanges. The leads, although, pretty to look at – this is a Nicolas Sparks movie after all – are just not strong enough to carry the film through; Palmer’s overacting is bothersome at best, while Walker largely serves as the eye-candy of the piece.
All in all, those who enjoy the comfortable predictability that can be found in Nicolas Sparks stories, will definitely find something to like about the author’s eleventh book-to-screen adaptation. It’s everyone else that we’re worried about.
If you’re idea of ‘funny’ is watching Robert De Niro making a complete and utter fool of himself as a filthy and foul-mouthed senior on a ‘life-changing’ journey sexual pursuits, then Dan Mazer’s Dirty Grandpa is a must see. However, if you would rather spare yourself the torture of having the image of the legendary, Oscar-winning actor tarnished for good, then you are advised to look for your dirty laughs elsewhere.
The story is centred on Jason Kelly (Efron); an uptight corporate lawyer who, having given up on his dreams of one day becoming a renowned photographer, is now - rather begrudgingly - working for his controlling lawyer dad, David (Mulroney). When his grandmother dies from cancer, his grandpa Dick (De Niro) - a retired military mechanic whom Jason was really close to as a kid - decides to guilt his grandson into driving him from his home in Atlanta, Georgia down to Florida, so he can honour and fulfil his late spouse’s dying wishes who has asked him to let loose a little.
Only a week away from his essentially arranged marriage to the beautiful but bossy Meredith (Hough), Jason - not wanting to disappoint his recently widowed grandpa - reluctantly agrees. However, he soon discovers that Dick has other reasons for their little road trip, when, after running into a couple of Jason’s friends old from college – including the promiscuous hottie, Lenore (Plaza) – Dick persuades Jason to take a little detour through Daytona Beach; a popular spring break spot for college students, where he can do some serious skirt-chasing and, yes, get laid.
Dirty Grandpa - directed by Borat producer Dan Mazer and first-time screenwriter John Phillips - is neither funny nor smart and watching it unfold on the big-screen is a grating, painful experience. Instead of focusing on offering quality laughs, the film seems more interested in shocking throughout its one-hundred-minute runtime, which include a never-ending stream of racial slurs, genital-based humour and profane-filled one-liners that seem to be on the repeat for most of the movie.
Robert De Niro - in what has proven to be one of his worst roles of his career - is, well, very unlike himself and while some might find his sex-crazed and dirty-mouthed ways novel and, dare we say, entertaining, there will also be many of those who will feel nothing but embarrassment for the seventy-two-year old actor. Efron, meanwhile, is Efron and spends most of the time shirtless.
It’s a rather tiring experience and while its particular brand of toilet-humour has its audience, the sloppiness and the lack of trying in Dirty Grandpa is almost insulting.