“21 Jump Street” Is Better than You Think

I went to see “21 Jump Street” and was pleasantly surprised at how fun I had watching it. To be fair, I went in with pretty low expectations of the Jonah Hill/ Channing Tatum buddy cop remake, but it managed to go above and beyond and provide some genuine laughs. (And I mean laughing with it, not at it.)

Jonah Hill (left) and Channing Tatum star in "21 Jump Street."

The movie is based on the 80′s show by the same name about a group of police officers who are sent into high schools undercover posing as students to bring down criminals. Yeah, the plot was just as laughable in the 80′s. The cops chosen for this undercover project are selected because they look young enough to pass for high school students, only there is no way any of them look young enough to pass for high school students. Seriously, that 30-year-old on “Glee” is more convincing.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play high school enemies who become best buds at the police academy and are sent to Jump Street after failing to properly mirandize a criminal. They’re sent back to high school to investigate a drug ring. They have to infiltrate the dealers and bring down the supplier. Only they have a few problems with this simple task.

The movie is completely predictable and has too many dick and fart jokes for my taste, but what I love is how self-aware the film is. At one point, while introducing the Jump Street program, the police captain explains it by saying the guys in charge are, “completely out of ideas and just recycling things from the 80′s hoping we won’t notice.”

The film pays homage to the original while making fun of it. There’s cameos from many of the original cast include Holly Robinson Peete and Johnny Depp. I enjoy movies that acknowledge they’re ridiculousness and embrace it.

Hill and Tatum make a good team and play off each other well. I was surprised at how funny Tatum was. When he was in high school he was a jock and one of the popular kids, but now he’s confused by this “backward” place where it’s cool to read comics, be tolerant of others, and care about things like your grades and the environment. He blames “Glee.”

The storyline is obvious and offers few surprises. Though the curve balls it does throw are pretty awesome. (Like the aforementioned Depp cameo.) Expect nothing but a couple hours with some laughs and explosions that won’t ask you to think to much.

I waited till it was at the bargain theater and glad I did. It’s worth a watch, just not at full price. I’m sure they’re already working on “22 Jump Street” and my hopes aren’t high for that one either, especially since they already killed off Johnny Depp. Oops … spoiler alert!

“21 Jump Street” was a happy surprise and its faults are easily overlooked. Get a second chance at high school with this 80′s flashback.

2 Responses

  1. Steven says:

    I’m still not convinced. The 21 Jump Street TV show was a drama, not a sitcom, so I am still opposed to this movie.

  2. I had my doubts going into it for sure. It’s not a great movie but it’s harmless fun.

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