Case Study: 21 Jump Street

Topics: Johnny Depp, MTV Movie Awards, High school Pages: 6 (2227 words) Published: November 5, 2013
21 Jump Street: Case Study Description
The performance that I have chosen is the 2012 film remake of 21 Jump Street. The mention of this film raised questions in the die-hard fans of the 1987 hit television series making Johnny Depp a star. The movie was not an exact replica of the television series, however a different, comedic take that surprised audiences. It was nominated for the People’s Choice Awards as Favorite Comedic Movie in 2013 and made audiences laughter continue every time it was watched. Medium

In the original television series 21 Jump Street, created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell one hundred and three episodes featured Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise posing as undercover police officers due to their youthful appearances, solving crimes in high school settings or any place involving teenage activity. The 2012 film remake of 21 Jump Street directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller loosely follows a similar plot to the original television series staring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover high school students “finding the suppliers and infiltrating the dealers” of a new synthetic drug called “HFS.”

The film is an American action comedy, and even presents a social experiment in how times have changed from when Greg Jenko, Channing Tatum, and Morton Schmidt, Jonah Hill, were in high school. Seven years later when the two return to high school, Jenko, the once popular, jock and Schmidt, the nerd, Eminem wannabe, are emerged in a culture they were once familiar with but now the roles have been reversed. The cool kids are not the jocks but merely the granola, liberals against fascist sports and the “one strap” wearing of the backpack is so seven years ago, it is all about the “two strap” appearance now. Three eras are visually represented in this film from Jenko and Schmidt’s days in 2005 as high school seniors, to present-day when Jenko and Schmidt are undercover cops in high school and Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise and Holly Robinson Peete’s cameos throughout the film incorporate the first generation of 21 Jump Street. The film appears to be more complex than the audience realizes, bringing in a comedic approach as well as an action appeal but even demonstrating how social groups in high school’s morph so quickly.

The filming of this movie was thought of as a risk since the television series was a hit in the 1980s, audiences were curious as to how it would be transformed into a movie without damaging the true content of the show. Casting Channing Tatum was a shock since he’s known for drama and romance movies it was interesting to show how his comedic side was put to use. Audiences however, loved the film, which yielded “$138,447,667 in North America” and “$201,585,328 Worldwide” (Box Office Mojo). The film held the #1 spot on the weekend premiere for two weeks after the initial release date.

“The film received five award nominations at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards including Best Cast, Best On-Screen Transformation for Depp, Best Fight for a fight scene between Tatum, Hill, and a gang of school kids, Best Gut-Wrenching Performance for Hill and Riggle, and Best Comedic Performance for Hill” (Kara Warner). The film however, did win “Best Music for the song "Party Rock Anthem" by the group LMFAO” (Rebecca Ford). The reviews from movie critics also presented a positive response. Reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, 206 total, 84% would give it a 7.2/10, claiming the film to be “A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite” (Rotten Tomatoes).

21 Jump Street was such a big hit for audiences that it was released to DVD and Blu-ray in a matter of three months, June 26, 2012, in Canada and the United States. The accessibility of owning the film makes it popular culture according to the definition that, it’s readily accessible and is consumed by the masses. A sequel to the film is in the works, but...
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