We’ve all been there. We’ve watched a few hilarious trailers for a new comedy and after watching the movie, realized that all of the “funny” parts were used up in the promotional material. Rest assured, 21 Jump Street is not that kind of movie!
While I had my doubts – how dare they touch the classic show that was such a jumping off point for so many actors i.e. Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Christina Applegate to name a few – this movie definitely delivered on not only the laughs, but also an incredibly believable bromance between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
Lucky for us, producer and star Hill along with screenwriter Michael Bacall did not merely spoof the original series – they added their own special twists to a somewhat predictable plot and it works. At one point, Hill’s character is praying to the “Korean Jesus” in a scene that will leave you struggling for air in between large belly laughs.
Tatum as the hot, meathead Jenko and Hill as Schmidt, the quintessential dork who doesn’t quite realize his own dorkiness, play on each other’s strengths while trying to make it through the police academy. After blowing a drug arrest, our lovably dumb studmuffin Jenko forgets to read the perp the Miranda law and the two are put on assignment.
They have one task – figure out who the dealers and suppliers are of a dangerous synthetic drug being passed around the local high school. Led by their superior Mr. Dickinson played by none other than a foul-mouthed Ice Cube playing into the angry black man cliché, the two are given new identities and thrown into high school. They find that a lot has changed in the decade since they last attended.
A not so intelligent mix up results in Tatum being sent to AP (otherwise known as app) Chemistry where he befriends the “nerds,” complete with a secret handshake that has a whole lot to do with light sabers and very little to do with the shaking of hands. Hill becomes party of the “cool” kids because now the cool kids get good grades, care about the environment, and practice acceptance.
The plot follows the two on their own paths of self-discovery and overcoming the past. Please know that the movie earns its R-rating honestly; some of the humor is downright cringe worthy. But in the end, the movie delivers in slapstick and somewhat crude humor with a side of action (high speed car chases that may or may not end in large explosions) and honest emotional exchanges.
4 outta 5 prom kings