Pop quiz - which of the following movies featured the following line, "I cherish you."
A. "The Vow"
B. "The Means War"
C. "Friends with Benefits"
D. "21 Jump Street"
If you picked the R-rated, action-packed comedy "21 Jump Street," give yourself a star.
"21 Jump Street" reboots the TV show which made Johnny Depp a star back in the '80s, casting Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as fresh-faced cops posing as high school students.
To say there's a bromance blooming between them hardly describes the on-screen bonding. The film, which hauled in $35 million over the weekend, makes "I Love You, Man" look as sensitive as a "Rambo" sequel. Tatum and Hill express their affection for each other repeatedly throughout the movie, but things get even more intense during the film's frantic final reel.
So what gives?
Hill is no stranger to bromantic moments. Remember his ode to his on-screen bud (Michael Cera) in "Superbad?" But that scene was played for awkward laughs. In "21 Jump Street," the affection is palpable, but heterosexual in nature. Hill's character is crushing on a cute high school student, while Tatum's hulking cop is being eyeballed by a horny teacher ("The Office's" Ellie Kemper).
Overstating the Tatum/Hill bond could be one of the film's many attempts at genre spoofing. The film attempts to wring humor out of buddy cop conventions, politically correct students and action movie cliches. But "21 Jump Street" can't follow through on any of those themes. It's ironic that the film's true rallying point is the relationship between its leads.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but one wonders how far Hollywood will push this particular envelope before the trend is thrown on the scrap pile of overused gimmicks.