What do "The Brady Bunch," "Mission: Impossible," "The A-Team," "The Dukes of Hazzard," and "The Incredible Hulk" all have in common? They are all TV shows that were made into feature films.
This is nothing new in the film industry. If it works on television, why not try it out on the big screen?
They've been doing this for years. It was a long time ago when "The Addam's Family" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" were on television, but that didn't stop some movie company from scooping up the rights to those shows and making feature films out of them. Hell, "Beavis and Butthead" and "Jackass" were just little TV shows, but they blew up into big feature films when someone said, "Hey, let's make a movie out of these idiots." And I'm glad they did, because I loved both of those movies.
Well, times, they are NOT-a-changing.
The newest entry of a TV show to be transformed into a film is "21 Jump Street."
Yes, for all you youngsters out there, "21 Jump Street" was actually a TV show. It was on from 1987 to 1991, and it starred a slew of young, talented actors. Let me tell you about a few.
Holly Robinson Peete. She was the cutie on the show who ended up marrying ex-Redskins quarterback, Rodney Peete. And they're still married! Way to go kids, you don't see that too often.
Peter DeLuise. He is the son of Dom DeLuise, who was in "Blazing Saddles." He's had a nice little acting career for himself, but he wasn't in "Wayne's World" like his brother Michael DeLuise.
Richard Grieco. I loved this guy as an actor, but unfortunately, I never hear anything about him. Sadly, sometimes this happens.
And finally, a young actor named Johnny Depp was on this show. This gig catapulted his career and, well, he's done rather splendidly for himself since.
But enough about the TV show, let's talk about the movie.
The movie stars two young Hollywood heavies, both coming off great years.
First, Channing Tatum. He's fresh off the hit film "The Vow," and girls love him. And second, Jonah Hill. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film "Moneyball." He didn't win, but it was just nice to be nominated.
The story follows Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum), who are cops sent undercover to a high school to infiltrate a drug ring and catch the supplier, who is making and distributing the synthetic drug, known as HFS (holy, 'cuss-word,' then 'another cuss-word').
Well, back in their high school days, Schmidt was a dork and Jenko was a jock. But that all changes when they go back to class. It's flippity-flopped this time... and it makes for some hilarious scenes.
I've known for a while that Jonah Hill was a great comedic actor, but you know what? Channing Tatum blew me away with his comedic prowess. I mean, I pretty much only see him in action or dramatic roles, but he had me gut-laughing in this film.
He may owe some of the laughs he received to his co-star though.
Jonah Hill, along with his writing partner, Michael Bacall, took their time writing this film (Bacall wrote the screenplay). And it shows. They tried to write a solid story, but they also wanted some serious laughs, and they got both. You can tell they like the high school humor, because there are a lot of "genital" jokes. And although the mature sophisticate may not enjoy that type of gross-out humor, I, along with a whole bunch of other childish imps, absolutely love that type of stuff. Hey, whatever floats your boat, right?
I do want to give props to a sort of newcomer. His name is Dave Franco. He plays Eric Molson in the film. Molson is the earthy-crunchy, environmentalist, cool kid at the high school. He is also the one selling the drugs. He's a good little actor. I think this will be his break-out role.
Oh, did I forget to tell you? He's also James Franco's brother. Nice little acting family they got going there.
I liked this movie all the way through, but what really got me was the ending.
There is a scene where I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. And I'm glad I didn't because I actually got up and clapped when it happened. Now, if you were a fan of the TV show, you will absolutely love it too. I'm just glad nobody told me about it before I saw it.
Now, "21 Jump Street" the TV show, and "21 Jump Street" the movie are two totally different entities - the show being a serious drama, and the movie being a comedy - but they're based on the same premise, and they both are great. Personally, I think the movie is an homage to the show and all parties involved with BOTH projects should be proud of what they created. Heck, I loved them both!
Oh yeah, the best part of this also, there WILL be a part two! I just know it!
So, get to the movies and enjoy a laugh or 20.
Matty W. Kelley reporting.
Fun Fact: Johnny Depp has been engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Kate Moss, and Winona Ryder.
Fun Matty Fact: Channing Tatum's first feature film role was in "Coach Carter," which I found to be ONE THOUSAND TIMES BETTER than "John Carter."