Being a huge fan of the 80s sitcom that made Johnny Depp a star, I had many worries when I first heard that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum would be in the new updated version. My first concern was the casting of Channing Tatum; he isn’t known as the most talented actor but this is by far the best decision he’s ever made. I always said this guy was good at comedy, mainly because he’s great at playing dumb. Let’s be honest, it’s true. My second concern was Jonah Hill going over the top and taking the original series and turning it into a raunchy movie that had nothing to do with the show, but he proved me wrong as well.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as Officer Schmidt and Officer Jenko, two young cops who can’t seem to get it right and are sent to a revived undercover agency called, 21 Jump Street. The members of Jump Street are cops who look young enough to pass for high school students and their job is to stop crime in school. After the death of a student, there first mission is to infiltrate a gang of drug dealers supplying a hallucinogenic substance and arrest them.
This may seem like an easy task for two police officers but they find ways to mess it up during their first day at school. Schmidt is nervous about what will happen when he’s dropped back into a society that caused him hell when he was a teenager, but soon realizes that the dynamics of high school have changed and he is now considered the cool guy. Jenko, on the other hand, is in shock when he comes to the realization that the place he dominated back in the good ole days has changed significantly and he is no longer the prom king.
The two must pose as brothers, but problems arise when Schmidt begins to relish in his new found popularity taking it so far he forgets the mission at hand. Complicating the matter further, he begins to fall for a high school senior Molly (Brie Larson), which he has been advised not to do, and spends most of his time with her trying to be cool. Jenko, who is not as cool as he was once in high school, finds himself as a social outcast spending a majority of his time with the science nerds trying to find a way to get to the bottom of the case.
Their roles have changed drastically not only in their social life, but professional life and begins to cause tension between the two best friends.
The film, based on a story co-written by Hill, took a modern and fresh approach to the subject matter seen in almost every episode of the 80s sitcom. There is a great balance of humor and action which gives the movie an entertaining touch. The jokes are hilarious and never go too over the top and the action scenes fit well in the story and are never overdone. On top of that, screenwriter Michael Bacall’s greatest accomplishment was never forgetting the original sitcom by bringing back certain memories of the show, for example; Hill and Tatum are posing as the McQuaid brothers while undercover. Also, a cameo, which was a horribly kept secret, is also included for original stars, Holly Robinson Peete, Peter DeLuise and of course Johnny Depp.
Another concern I had for this film was if the Bacall and Hill would keep the 80s sitcom alive in the film, especially after hearing Hill say he’s never seen the original sitcom. But, every time I heard a reference from the show I was giddy with laughter happy to see it remembered. It’s easy to say that if you loved the 80s sitcom you will appreciate this film.
I can easily say this is Jonah Hill’s best comedy to date and Tatum’s best film ever. They make a fantastic duo and play extremely well off each other generating numerous laugh out loud moments. The film sets itself up very well for a sequel and this may be the first time I’m not upset about a sequel being made.
21 Jump Street is easily the funniest movie that has been released in 2012. You don’t have to be a fan of the original series to dig this film, everybody can enjoy it. 21 Jump Street is fantastic and entertaining, it’s a knockout. I loved the original series and I absolutely loved the film. You won’t be dissapointed.