21 Jump Street (2012)

March 20, 2012 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

21 Jump Street mixes the current high school scene with a buddy-cop bromance, all while poking fun at 80s pop culture, action flicks and the Facebook generation. Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord bring the TV show to the silver screen with a modern version of 21 Jump Street, teaming up the talents of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. For those that don’t know the basic synopsis from the TV show , 21 Jump Street is about a group of young looking cops, the main ones being Schmidt and Jenko, who are sent to go undercover at a high school to infiltrate a drug ring.

Directors Miller and Lord keep this film fresh and fast-paced, taking advantage of the R-rating with grotesque moments, but also capturing the awkward moments of high school that are easy to laugh at. The script, written by Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall, is on-point, with a nice mixture of toilet humor and gross-out moments. There’s also a bromance in there that’s somewhat sincere, but equally hilarious. There’s also a good dose of bloody action scenes, enough to round out this kick-ass meal of a movie.

Channing Tatum plays the dumb brute, Jenko, and Jonah Hill plays the smarty-pants named Schmidt. Together, they make an odd-ball couple that goes through high school all over again, learning that stereotypes can be broken. Opposites attract once again in this bromance Comedy, with Schmidt being the odd, smart, hesitant character and Jenko being the cop with the physical skills and child-like stupidity, learning that they can connect through their differences. There are also moments with both Tatum and Hill being sincere in their performances, dealing with “stupid” high school drama that’s as real as anything else. They’re not exactly a Simon Pegg and Nick Frost marriage, but more of a perfect one-night stand. Clearly, Tatum and Hill are having tons of fun playing their characters, and that fun is contagious.

Ice Cube rides his stereotype as the angry black captain to perfection and Dave Franco, playing the ring-leader dealer and all-around popular guy, comes off a lot like his older brother, which is a good thing. There’s also a couple of cameos that will put a smile on your face, especially for those that watched the original 21 Jump Street.

21 Jump Street kicks ass, takes names and takes you to prom with a Glock to replace a corsage.

Potential Drawbacks: 

21 Jump Street won’t really work for those that find toilet-humor boring. Accept it for what it is, and it will be a fun ride, but other than that, it doesn’t really reach comedy classic levels (and it probably wasn’t trying to anyways). It also does have a specific age range in mind for it’s audience, as the older folk probably can’t relate to most of the high school jokes.

Film Recommendations: 


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