Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)

21 Jump Street is an action/comedy movie based on the tv series of the same name from back in 1987. Two failed cops are sent back to high-school, in an undercover mission, to try to bring down a drug ring.  A far cry from the original series, this was one entertaining movie!

Schmidt and Jenko, former classmates, meet again at the police academy and despite them never being friends, they end up just that, helping each other to graduation. After a failed arrest attempt and a disgraceful mistake, they end up being reassigned to a new division on 21 Jump Street. And this is where the fun starts.

The two main characters, Schmidt and Jenko, are played by Jonah Hill ( Superbad) and Channing Tatum (Dear John, Step Up). I have to say, despite my belief that the latter is well..a bad actor, this was one Tatum movie that I really enjoyed. 

It’s an action packed movie and although the humour is silly sometimes, it still manages to be genuinely funny. It plays on stereotypes as being an important part of highschool you can’t escape, it’s raunchy and uses the shock-value humour, but does so with good results. The use of clichés didn’t go unnoticed either.

Probably the best, also funniest, part of the movie is the relationship between the two cops.    It kind of reminds me of Marcus and Mike’s partnership ( Bad Boys). With its ups and downs, it starts off shaky, but by the end of the movie it’s actually credible; Tatum and Hill have a certain chemistry that works for them.

Ice Cube stars in this film too, as the 21 Jump Street division captain, Captain Dickson. Which, I s’ppose is an appropriate name, since he’s hardcore, angry and constantly vulgar. Not sure if they haven’t pushed it a tad too far with his character; in his own words: ” I know what you’re thinkin’: angry, black captain. Well guess what? I’m black, and I worked my ASS off to be the captain. And sometimes, I get a little angry, so suck a ****! ” Too in-your-face.

I knew they were signing up Johnny Depp for a cameo, what I didn’t expect was to see so many familiar faces! Besides Depp, who was brilliant in his 3 minutes of screen time, we got to, briefly, see David Nguyen, Peter DeLuise and Frederic Forrest too! All of them starred in the original ’87 series.

While it’s really a light movie, it’s good fun and entertainment. I haven’t laughed so much at  a comedy like this in a while and that’s saying something. Then again, it’s all relative to what your taste in movies is.

I do recommend seeing it, just don’t expect it to have much to do with the television series.

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