Reviews

21 Jump Street

3

Hill and Tatum are not too cool for school.

Judging by the mixed fortuntes of The A-Team, The Dukes Of Hazzard and Miami Vice, playing the ’80s TV remake game is a dangerous one. So what hope for 21 Jump Street, a show remembered for giving Johnny Depp’s career an early boost?

Actually, more than you’d think. Not saddled with nostalgia-weighed expectations, this mix of buddy-buddy cop movie and high-school comedy is surprisingly fun-packed from start to finish. The brief flashback intro sets the tone.

While Jenko (Channing Tatum) is a typical meathead jock at school, Eminem-lookalike Schmidt (Jonah Hill) is about as popular as a bout of herpes, but when they meet at the police academy they become friends and partners.

A botched drugs bust then sees them re-assigned to 21 Jump Street, a Korean church-housed undercover op for youthful-looking officers, where the ballbusting Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) awaits.

Their mission is to go back to high school, covertly, and bring down the source of a new designer drug, HFS (Holy Fucking Shit), which is being dealt by eco-warrior pupil Eric (Dave Franco).

The sly twist comes when the boys find that school isn’t quite as they remember it. Suddenly, it’s cool to care and be tolerant – an attitude that bamboozles Jenko, who winds up hanging with the nerds from chemistry, while Schmidt is embraced by the cool kids, including fellow drama student Molly (Brie Larson).

With Hill on co-scripting duties with Scott Pilgrim scribe Michael Bacall, 21 Jump Street was always going to live or die by its gags. Fortunately, it boasts that sweet-yet-dirty comedy that Hill revels in.

Choice moments include literally any shots of Hill dressed as Peter Pan for the school play and Jenko trying to remember his Miranda rights (“You have the right to be an attorney”). Pity the running gag about car chase-induced explosions fails to detonate – and the less said about the perfunctory action, the better.

Co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs) have no problem keeping it lewd and lovable, while Tatum similarly handles the comedy beat with ease. Packed with welcome faces – Ellie Kemper (Bridesmaids) plays a teacher lusting for Jenko’s eight-pack abs – fans of the original will also get the cameo they deserve (frankly, the least the producers could do).

Even with a blatant music cue, N.W.A.’s ‘straight outta compton’, nodding to Mr Cube, 21 Jump Street rarely milks its nostalgia. and maybe that’s the secret to a good remake.

Verdict:

Holding its middle finger up to ’80s retro-hounds, this remake gets it largely right. Fast, filthy, fresh and funny, Jump is worth a punt.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • FBRSpiers

      Mar 9th 2012, 16:21

      Reasonably paced film following proven thread of nurd and cool guys becoming best friends. More than enough F- - - words and some mild violence apart from last scene which was a bit gory with charred bodies everywhere. Overall, quite enjoyable.

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    • FBRSpiers

      Mar 9th 2012, 16:25

      Reasonably paced film following proven thread of nurd and cool guy becoming best friends. More than enough f - - - words and some mild violence apart from last scene with charred bodies. A few laughs and cringes throughout the movie. Overall, quite enjoyable. Rating 3 stars.

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    • FBJPenny

      Mar 16th 2012, 1:20

      not a very funny movie, tries too hard :(

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    • willow138

      Mar 20th 2012, 23:49

      4

      Fans of Superbad will love Jump Street 21! With the same style of comedy at play, plus better acting from Hill and Tatum makes a more than suitable Cera replacement. Some great punchlines (ahem Chicken truck) and an awesome cameo. Well worth both the trip to the cinema and adding to the DVD collection.

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    • TJF93

      Mar 26th 2012, 10:41

      5

      The order of the events in the YouTube video that is played to educate the undercover officers about the drug they are trying to bust is the plot, it repeats itself in each scene, each scene is relative to the movies it , it is a cycle with no start or end, when a character does the drug they follow it (or it follows them), it can be noticed in any relationship. IF this interests you do LSD at your own risk then try to write a story, you will end up with one similar to description above.

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    • TJF93

      Mar 26th 2012, 10:51

      5

      The trip that characters in the movie experience while on the drug is reflected in: the plot of the movie, the events in each scene, relationships between characters, and anywhere else you look. But forget that this movie is hilarious!

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    • jonnykerr13

      Apr 10th 2012, 11:09

      4

      This film sticks the finger up at all bad TV to movie remakes. Agreed the action scenes could have been a bit tighter, this definitely deserved more than the 3 stars awarded here in most peoples opinion I reckon.

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    • filmfreak2

      Apr 15th 2012, 14:30

      great film, for me the best one in this year if you miss the theater you can watch it online in HD at www.safewatch.tk/ enjoy,,,

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