REVIEW: 21 Jump Street

Posted by under *like, Movies, Television |

The most important thing to know about the new film version of 21 Jump Street is that it takes the concept of the old television series and plays it as a comedy. If you’re expecting a faithful adaptation of the show, you’re sure to be disappointed. In terms of tone it’s fairly similar to Seth Rogen’s Pineapple Express, however, 21 Jump Street is more consistently funny.

Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as alumni of the same high school who go from having an antagonistic relationship in school to forging a strong bond while in the police academy. Hill is smart and out of shape, while Tatum is dumb as a rock and built like a superhero. They quickly discover that with their individualized skills they can help each other survive the academy, but even as a team they don’t amount to very good police officers. Their auspicious careers start as bike cops protecting a virtually crime-less park. However, a botched arrest soon results in the duo being demoted and assigned to an undercover unit that places young-looking police officers in high schools. The not-so-young-looking duo’s cover includes being brothers and living with Hill’s parents. Hilarity ensues.

While not the smartest film you’ll ever see, I found Jump Street to be clever in a bunch of odd ways. First, life in modern high school proves to be far different than both Hill/Tatum and the audience expect. It’s fun to watch the characters try to adapt to their new realities. Though I cannot imagine that in reality high school has changed as much as the film would have us believe. (I know. I know. It’s only a movie.) In addition, the undercover roles that Hill and Tatum end up assuming at the school go completely against their type. Even some of the action scenes have interesting twists such as a spin on the classic car chase involving three limos. Meanwhile, the humor is not nearly one note as you would expect, it ranges from goofy to gross-out to playing off audience expectations of a buddy cop action film.

Hill and Tatum are fine in their roles, but some of the biggest laughs are stolen by Ice Cube and Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman who play their commanding officers.

21 Jump Street is one of the rare mainstream comedies that I actually think is worth seeing with a crowd in a theater. I suspect in time it’ll evolve into one of those must-watch-when-it-is-on-cable-type flicks.

I’ve embedded the trailer for the movie below, but I fear it spoils too many of its jokes. Watch at your own risk.

21 Jump Street opens in theaters March 16.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Join the Discussion