Next week, 22 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum will hit the big screens, yet another big screen adaptation of a TV show. The good news is, if the early reviews are to be believed, this one’s pretty good. No Bewitched here. So, to prepare for 22 Jump Street, here are five other TV show adaptations that are also pretty good, picked completely arbitrarily, but all generally funny or action packed, just like 22 Jump Street.
The Fugitive– One of the first and arguably the best adaptations, The Fugitive proved that there was a market for nostalgia and money to be made. Based on the 1960’s show, Harrison Ford starred as Doctor Richard Kimble, falsely accused of a murder he didn’t commit. Hounding him on his search for the villainous One-Armed Man was Tommy Lee Jones as US Marshal Sam Gerard. The movie made over $300 million and won Jones a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
The Addams Family– It is creepy and it is kooky and not a bad way to spend 90 minutes. The Addams Family, an adaptationof Charles Addams macabre cartoons and later a TV show, again from the ‘60’s. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston Play Gomez and Morticia in the film, joined by Christina Ricci as daughter Wednesday and Jimmy Workman as son Pugsley. The film focuses on the return of Christopher Lloyd’s uncle Fester. The film received mostly positive reviews, and was the seventh highest grossing film of 1991.
Land of the Lost- Taken from Sid and Marty Krofft’s Saturday morning show, this is not the terrible movie reviewers wanted the audience to think it was. A chance for Will Ferrell and Danny McBride to run around making jokes and having fun with special effects, this movie was beat up by reviewers when it was first released. It has since found a life on cable and home video. Totally worth checking out, especially if you like the action-comedy genre that 22 Jump Street lives in.
Mission: Impossible– “Your mission, if you choose to accept it…” Those eight words are instantly recognizable, as is the theme song. With four films in the franchise, the Mission: Impossible series is by far one of the most successful adaptations of a TV show. Each entry is different than the last, with the latest, Ghost Protocol, being as close to a James Bond film as any of them (The plot was basically Thunderball. It was awesome.). The M:I five star Tom Cruise the chance to do the things he does best; run in movies, and be super charismatic. The final film has a 93 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ensuring many more missions in the future.
Maverick– Mel Gibson teamed up with his Lethal Weapon director and co-star Jodie Foster for this Wild West romp. Also starring the original TV Maverick, James Garner, this is a well meaning, genial comedy set on a riverboat during a poker tournament. Maverick is the last movie Mel Gibson starred in before he started taking himself too seriously. There is even a Danny Glover cameo to round out a little Lethal Weapon reunion. Not a terrible way to waste a Sunday afternoon.
As people prepare for 22 Jump Street, expecting the worst, hoping for the best, these are five other adaptations to remind them that it doesn’t have to be so bad.
Commentary by Bryan Levy