The odd couple relationship between Tatum and Hill works really well. They seem like total opposites and you can imagine how they wouldn’t have got on in High School, but at the same time their later friendship feels real. Jonah Hill plays his familiar chubby loser character which has worked to varying degrees in the likes of Superbad and The Sitter but here is thoroughly successful. He also brings added depth to the character to make him smarter and more caring than in previous incarnations. I have never seen a Channing Tatum film before having been put off by his annoying name and face as well as the type of romantic films he’s appeared in, but in this I thought he was excellent. He has a great double act partner in Hill and plays the dumb meathead well. His comedic moments are also first-rate. I think he was funnier than Jonah Hill. Maybe this is where his career could end up when he’s finished walking on beaches at sunset?
The supporting cast were all great too. Ice Cube was outstanding as the ‘angry black police sergeant’ although I do wonder what 1992 Ice Cube would think about 2012 Ice Cube playing a cop in a mainstream
comedy. Dave Franco, who is looking more and more like his brother each time I
see him was well cast as the arrogant, cock-sure popular kid and The Office’s Ellie Kemper was very
flirtatious and funny as a teacher with a crush on Tatum. Rob Riggle plays a
strange character but pulls it off well. There isn’t really a weak link
anywhere in the cast.
I didn’t work out who the bad guy was before the reveal but the film had me laughing so much that I didn’t even think about whom it was and when we found out I didn’t really care. On the downside, some of the jokes feel a bit stretched and the love story between Hill and the school girl felt forced. Also, it was obvious as soon as she said “I’m 18” for no reason that it was going to happen. That’s the green light to tell the audience that although she’s in school its all legal and above board. There is a great cameo towards the end which both shocked and delighted my girlfriend and despite the formulaic
Hollywood ending this is a
successful comedy. I look forward to the sequel which was heavily implied at