Yesterday I saw the new cop/buddy comedy 21 Jump Street, which is based on the 80’s television show of the same name. I had heard good things about it online, but didn’t want to go in with my hopes too high. I like Jonah Hill, but I’m not such a big fan of Channing Tatum, so I wasn’t sure how this movie was going to turn out. What I got was the funniest movie I’ve seen since The Muppets.
The idea behind the 80’s show was about placing cops, who all looked young enough to pass as teenagers, undercover in order to solve crimes where older policemen would be too easily noticed. Fast forward to 2012, with the movie using the same basic premise. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are two very different kids from the same high school. Schmidt is a nerd who wishes he could be cool, and Jenko is the jock who makes his life miserable. They both graduate and find themselves applying to the same police academy. Despite how things were in high school, the two find that their strengths complement each other and they become friends. They make it through the police academy, and begin their journey to becoming total bad asses. However, they soon screw up an easy arrest and find themselves transfered to the Jump Street division. Their first case requires them to go undercover at a local high school in order to infiltrate a drug ring.
This movie reminded me of The Other Guys. In The Other Guys you had Will Ferrell, a comedic powerhouse, joining forces with Mark Wahlberg, who can pretty much only play Mark Wahlberg. In 21 Jump Street, you’ve got Jonah Hill, who is also very funny, even if he isn’t receiving the kind of pay cheques Will Ferrell commands. Then you’ve got Channing Tatum, who’s the pretty boy who also seems limited when it comes to his acting range. As expected, Jonah carries the weight of the movie, but Channing does a pretty decent job as the former jock who finds himself at the bottom of the social ladder.
The plot and story are relatively straight forward, as expected from a movie in this genre. There are a few dramatic scenes which are handled surprisingly well and do add some depth to the movie. Part of the me wants to describe this added depth as shallow, but for a movie that flaunts it’s stereotypes, it’s probably best to describe this drama as light. All the light drama aside, the story works as a perfect vehicle for the many hilarious jokes, and that’s all I expect from a comedy. Make me laugh, and I will consider my time and money well spent, and 21 Jump Street made me laugh from start to finish!
Movie rating: One of the best comedies ever! Go see this movie!