Review of '21 Jump Street'

21_jump_street.jpg Two recent police recruits, fresh out of high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), having botched it as standard beat cops are assigned to an undercover police operation “21 Jump Street” and tasked with stopping the distribution of a new narcotic at a local high school. Schmidt is the obvious dork here with Jenko being the quintessential “jock” but an amusing reversal of their undercover identities results in Schmidt becoming the life of the party while Jenko is left with the dorks in the chemistry lab…

I never saw the original television show “21 Jump Street” but I was assured that it was much more serious than this film. It is probably just as well that this is played for laughs as there is a lot to laugh at - The two over-the-top characters being put into hilarious situations and being given a second chance, certainly in the case of Schmidt, to become popular in high school. There is a lot of the adolescent humour here and the requisite teenage flesh but amongst all of this there is the slightly more serious story of two guys just trying to make things right even if they have no idea how to do it.

The action sequences are well done but also played tongue-in-cheek: One scene that sticks with me is during one chase where they repeatedly knock over large containers of flameable liquid but nothing happens. Only when they cause a crash with a pick-up truck carrying chickens does the whole thing explode into a huge fireball. It is these touches in addition to the amusing dialogue that make the film a bit different than others.

Perile, yes. Funny, yes. While “21 Jump Street” is a good example of such movies I can't say it is a movie that I would personally go out of my way to see though after seeing this one, if there is nothing better on I may be tempted into watching the sequel “22 Jump Street”…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2016-01-09

Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Year: 2012

Length: 109 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure

Other reviewed films by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller: