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21 Jump Street (2012)

They're too old for this shift.

Starring:

Brie Larson

Channing Tatum

Chris Miller

Chris Parnell

Dave Franco

Dax Flame

DeRay Davis

Ellie Kemper

Holly Robinson Peete

Ice Cube

Jake M. Johnson

Johnny Pemberton

Jonah Hill

Nick Offerman

Rob Riggle

Stanley Wong

Directed by:

Phil Lord

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 109 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

Country: United States

If The Devil Inside is the worst movie of 2012 so far then 21 Jump Street is definitely the most pleasantly surprising. The terrible trailers that really don’t do this revival of an Eighties TV show justice and the concept of Channing Tatum turning up in a comedy role, will scare many people off but this comedy is well worth a watch.

21 Jump Street was a deadly serious Eighties police series that gave Johnny Depp his big break but in 2012 it has been turned into an all-out comedy by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are two underachieving cops with hugely different personalities – Schmidt is a geek whilst Tatum is a jock – who formed an unlikely friendship in order to get through police training. They now find themselves going back to high school in an undercover attempt to bust a high school drug ring. They each find acceptance from their opposite social groups as they race against time to find the perpetrators before they are shut down by their permanently angry boss (Ice Cube).

So far, so awful but 21 Jump Street is definitely the hugely impressive execution of a horrendous idea. The unexpected masterstroke is the pairing of Hill and Tatum who surprisingly share an excellent on-screen  buddy chemistry that dramatically improves many average jokes and this is a film that shows that Tatum should do a lot more comedy. The jokes come thick and fast and are largely on the funny side with a good mix of sight-gags and one-liners to keep things mixed up. The supporting cast only add the likeability of the movie with Ice Cube excellent as the potty-mouthed police chief and Rob Riggle and Ellie Kemper are the pick of the teachers.

Overall, it’s a very enjoyable watch but the runtime (at nearly two hours) seems a bit stretched for a light comedy with an over-extended highway chase scene being the main culprit.

It's Got: An excellent chemistry between the lead duo, a very funny supporting cast, lots of laughs, Johnny Depp in there somewhere

It Needs: To be shorter, better trailers

Alternatives:

17 Again, Kindergarten Cop, Superbad

Summary

Don’t be put off by the awful trailers, a shocking concept and Channing Tatum in a comedy role, 21 Jump Street is great fun with lots of great jokes and excellent performances.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Hill and Tatum are great together here and add a lot to this film’s comedy but it’s just the way it is all written that makes it even richer. It’s making fun of those high school comedy conventions but at the same time, is inventing it’s own as it goes on. Great review. Give mine a look when you can.

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