Hero's Journey Film Analysis

812 Words4 Pages
Along classic plot devices such as “Deus ex machina” or “The Red Herring”, the “Hero’s Journey”—proposed by Christopher Vogler is a structural device prevalent in literature and film more often than one could think. Adapted from the “Hero’s Journey”, Jay Clayton’s “Romance Narrative Cycle” too outlines the development of a hero as he/she undergoes a quest facing obstacles and trials posed through the different phases. The film 21 Jump Street portrays Morton Schmidt (along partner Greg Jenko), as he undergoes his transformation into a hero. The transformation follows both Clayton and Vogler’s classic structure, incorporating comedy into the traditional romance narrative. Schmidt’s main objective as he initiates his quest is to infiltrate a drug operation to prevent more teens from overdosing on the lethal drug HFS and prove he is a worthy cop, however, along the way is faced with trials that cause him to stray from his quest. As the quest requires him to return to his “underworld”—high school, Schmidt nearly concedes to his greatest temptation of redeeming his loser high school self, rather remaining true to his quest of…show more content…
It is depicted in the scene where Schmidt has the opportunity to ask Molly to be his date for prom. This is evident when Schmidt is pitted against the Shadow. “The Shadow”, or the archetype to destroy, “represents [Schmidt’s] darkest desires”(Vogler, 9). Moreover, his temptation to redeem himself is the Shadow. Likewise, the scene where Schmidt fights with his partner Jenko about finding Schmidt’s college application, illustrates the trial during “the Ordeal” where Schmidt must ultimately select a path of the quest. The character of Jenko throughout the film plays a great role in helping Schmidt transform into a hero. Jenko, in many ways, acts as Schmidt’s mentor. Vogler distinguishes “the Mentor” as one that provides
Open Document