Movie Review: 21 Jump Street Is an Agreeable Shambles

It’s funny-strange when cultural properties like 21 Jump Street are remade with the same titles, characters, and premises but as parodies of their former selves. On one hand, who would want a straight remake of, say, The Brady Bunch, which presented to a ferociously polarized country at the height of sixties counterculture the sugary vision of an apolitical, pure-blood, suburban California never-never land? We needed a corrective. On the other hand, what does it say that the people who created the show — and were onboard with the movie — had so little invested in their utopian vision that they happily let it be travestied? And while we’re on the subject, what of Tim Burton’s upcoming Dark Shadows, which (as a Gothic horror–Barnabas freak from way back) I’ve looked forward to as no other movie this millennium, but turns out (on the basis of its soul-crushingly bad trailer) to be a cartoonish Addams Family–style send-up rather than something akin to Burton’s terrific, Grand Guignol Hammer homage Sleepy Hollow? Even those of us who routinely cringed when Jonathan Frid fluffed his lines and tried not to notice wobbling and collapsing scenery will probably still feel as if our imaginative lives are being violated. Read More...


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