Arts

Reading Time: 5 minutes

21 Jump Street

4/5

Most of us never had the chance to watch 1980s hit TV show, 21 Jump Street. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller give older audiences a chance to take a stroll down memory lane and introduces new audiences to the show with their 2012 comedic remake of the same name.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum take on roles as the fun-loving, enemies-turned-friends bicycle cops. Schmidt (Hill) was a super smart dork in high school—the unpopular kid. Jenko (Tatum) stars as the hunky but dumb high-school jock, who constantly bullied Schmidt at any possible chance. The two meet years later at police academy, where Schmidt’s brains and Jenko’s physical capabilities make them an unstoppable cop duo.

Their potential quickly seems to fizzle after Jenko and Schmidt commit blunder after blunder and are sent to 21 Jump Street, an undercover police operation stationed in an abandoned church, as a last chance to redeem themselves. Their youthful looks allow them to go undercover and try to bust a synthetic drug ring in the squeaky clean halls of Sagan High School.

The film may be a remake, but it is truly original in the way it makes audiences laugh. No more than five minutes will pass before a laugh-out-loud moment makes it on to the big screen. Hill and Tatum’s chemistry alone is enough to carry the film. Their banter and ying yang personas balance each other out and don’t compete for the spotlight.

The plot also takes an old topic and makes the subject matter fresh again. The directors will have anyone forgetting about the popular ‘80s TV show of this instalment. If you’re up for a few laughs and don’t mind watching a film centred around high school, go knocking on 21 Jump Street—you’ll be happy you arrived.

Sofia Hashi  

The Hunger Games

5/5

THE HIGHLY ANTICPATED release of the first instalment of The Hunger Games trilogy was a smashing success. On opening weekend, the film made $155 million—which, by the way, is much better than any opening weekend of the Twilight franchise. Thanks to the fanatic hype surrounding The Hunger Games, the series has been hailed as a similar concept to Twilight, so let’s compare the two, shall we?

First of all, unlike the uncomfortable chemistry between Edward and Bella, the romance between The Hunger Games’ Katniss and Peeta is anything but awkward. Given that neither Gale nor Peeta is a werewolf or a vampire, there is no over-the-top—and somewhat obsessive—competition for the leading lady.

On top of that, The Hunger Games has a great soundtrack, which Twilight seems to lack.

Between creating a believable world and demonstrating the sweet, sister-like relationship between Katniss and Rue, director Gary Ross does an exceptional job transforming The Hunger Games into a film, casting a well-fitting ensemble and to the plot line ever so closely. After watching the 74th annual Hunger Games in the movie, one may wonder in whose odds the favour may be in the 75th Hunger Games.

Emily Jackson

The Means War

3/5

IF YOU DON’T mind sacrificing a stimulating and meaningful storyline for hot actors, spy gadgets, explosions, and a little romance, This Means War may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Starring Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, and Tom Hardy, This Means War follows CIA operatives and best friends FDR and Tuck (Pine and Hardy) as they navigate their jobs and their love lives, often with catastrophic results.

Things start to go south for the best friends when they find out they are dating the same woman, Lauren (Witherspoon). As the competition heats up and the men use their spy training to get a leg up on each other, the dates they take Lauren on become harder and harder to swallow, and the lengths they go to sabotage each other become comically ridiculous.

The plot is simple enough to follow, and the characters are both funny and heartwarming at times, but ultimately there isn’t much to this film. The second storyline featuring Heinrich (Til Schweiger), who swears revenge against FDR and Tuck for killing his brother, seems to serve only as a means to bring the story to a close. The ending, in which Lauren finally chooses between FDR and Tuck, is predictable and cheesy, although slightly redeemed by more explosions.

This film is a cute and charming romantic comedy with some action and spyware thrown in, but doesn’t have enough of any one genre, making the film fall somewhere in the middle.

Kiera Obbard

John Carter

3/5

WITH DISNEY’S JOHN Carter, it seems like the House of Mouse is trying to establish their next blockbuster franchise—something to pick up where the lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean series left off. If anything, one has to admire their guts; they’ve invested over 200 million dollars into an Edgar Rice Burroughs property that hadn’t made its way to movie screens since its original conception in 1912. While the film does not entirely live up to its potential, John Carter is not without its own distinctive charm.

Taylor Kitsch stars as the frequently shirtless title character, a civil war veteran who travels to the planet Mars through means that are much too ridiculous to describe. Upon arrival, Carter discovers the red planet’s unique gravity grants him super-human strength and jumping ability, making him a hot commodity among the various warring factions who inhabit the planet.

What follows is over two hours of sweeping, swashbuckling action-adventure that retains the look and feel of an old Flash Gordon science-fiction serial, but with a modern, multi-million dollar polish.

The only problem with the film is it relies heavily on exposition and focuses less on the plot. The movie feels rushed and often confusing, almost like the filmmakers compressed a whole trilogy worth of this material into single outing.

In the end, John Carter still manages to retain an enthusiastic, almost childlike sense of fun and excitement, but the question still remains whether this was worth the 100 year wait.

Kyle Darbyson

 

Author

  • Spring 2022: Desiree Nikfardjam Fall 2021: Zofka Svec 2020-2021: Aisling Murphy 2019-2020: Ryan Pepper 2018-2019: Iain Sellers 2017-2018: Ryan Pepper