21 Jump Street – Review16.03.12 # Review # 4 Comments
Our 21 Jump Street Movie Review.
Directors: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ellie Kemper, Ice Cube
Release Date: UK & US – 16th March
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are recently graduated police officers who have to return to high school posing as students in order to uncover a suspected drugs ring. For Schmidt, it’s a revisit of his traumatised past, as the loser who is perennially rejected by the girl. While for Jenko, it’s a revisit to his former glory days as the star high-school jock and bully. Both are in a for a rude awakening as they find high school has completely changed since they last left it 5 years ago, with power shifted from the athletic alpha-males to the environmentally conscious hipsters.
21 Jump Street could have easily been a cookie-cutter comedy that relied on the performance of a post-weight loss Jonah Hill and an excellent supporting cast. Instead, co-writers Michal Bacall and Hill have put together a story that doesn’t follow the obvious paths – and the movie benefits greatly because of it. With multiple meta-references, a surprise cameo ala Zombieland, and nods to the 21 Jump Street franchise itself, the gags flow fast and cliches are gloriously challenged and defied. Co-writer Bacall is responsible for Movie-Moron favourite Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and the well-heralded Project X so in a movie that has multiple stand-out moments, performances and memorable lines he is perhaps the real star.
The other surprise package of the film is Channing Tatum and the genuine bromantic chemistry he has with Hill. In the same way Mark Wahlberg showed off his comedic chops with Will Ferrell in the ever-quotable The Other Guys, Tatum sheds the shackles of the typical All-American Hero and the sappy romantic roles he is permanently linked to and is great fun to watch bouncing off Hill and others in the movie. If he chooses to pursue comedic roles there is more good work to come in the future.
If you don’t know too much about the film or the TV series that it follows, my recommendation is to keep that way and, if possible, don’t watch the trailer! If 21 Jump Street gets a sequel I’ll be joining the queue for tickets.
Our Rating: A
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