Reel Critics: Dump this raunchy 'Jump Street'

Rude, crude and rowdy, "21 Jump Street"purports to be a major Hollywood movie. But it sure looks like the kind of trash TV that Jerry Springer used to promote.

However, this convoluted cop/buddy flick does manage to create some raunchy laughs in spite of the totally brain-dead story.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play the unlikely pals who become undercover cops at their old high school. They're trying to identify nasty drug dealers at the school. Their investigation starts out as sweet-natured fun. But in the end, they engage in all manner of ridiculous R-rated activity.

Of course, they host a mandatory wild teenage party replete with alcohol, drugs and mindless sexual activity. Simplistic and stupid, no silly plot development is left behind. But the violently realistic shoot-out that ends with a pile of bloody corpses seems way out of place in this otherwise formula action comedy.

This movie is immature, raucous and full ofF-bombs. It will please the target audience that enjoys this type of bawdy low-brow entertainment. But it sure looks like the top layer of the dank compost heap that has become our current pop culture.


'Salmon' swims along nicely

In the whimsical"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,"nothing is impossible if you are an incredibly wealthy visionary.

The book was intended as political satire, but director Lasse Halstrom ("Chocolat") has replaced most of the vinegar with sugar. Not really a bad thing, and it should boost book sales.

Financial consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot contacts Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) and says a client is interested in bringing his favorite pastime to his Middle Eastern people. Dr. Jones rightly thinks the idea preposterous, and it is only at the "urging" of the prime minister's office that he is obliged to take on the project.

The prim and proper (and married) Alfred has some surprises in store. Not only is Harriet (Emily Blunt) a real beauty, but Sheikh Muhammed (handsome Amr Waked) is an honorable man with lofty ideals. When he quietly says, "For a fisherman, the only virtues are patience, tolerance and humility" we readily believe that salmon may be the answer to world peace.

Kristin Scott Thomas brings her much-needed, ever-smiling disdain and wit as a chic press secretary.

The movie's other delight is hearing Alfred's clipped pronunciation of Harriet's last name. McGregor and Blunt have a lovely rapport, and one has no doubt their friendship will go swimmingly.

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a company in Irvine.

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