The original 21 Jump Street is most notably known for jump starting the career of Hollywood star Johnny Depp. The show followed a group of undercover officers as they infiltrated high schools, colleges and other places where teens would hang out. Nearly 21 years since the show went off the air it’s finally making the jump to the big screen.
This time around, however, things are a little bit different. The main premise of cops going undercover as high school students remains the same although instead of a series procedural crime drama, 21 Jump Street is a hilarious comedy action film. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play officers Schmidt and Jenko, two best buds who aren’t exactly the best of cops. Due to their inability to make a successful arrest and their dashing young looks, the two are sent to Jump Street to be part of an undercover operation at a local high school. It just so happens that this is the same high school they both graduated from and while Jenko was the popular jock of his class, Schmidt was barely even noticed. Will things be different on their visit back?
21 Jump Street merges old school with new school as it blends the nostalgic themes of the 80s with the new teenage generation. Naturally, everything Schmidt and Jenko grew up with in high school has drastically changed. Not caring about anything is no longer cool. The same can be said about one arming your backpack. As a result, the roles are reversed and Schmidt is now one of the popular kids.
Watching Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum go back to high school is hilarious as it is awkward. While Hill can still pass as a young teen, it’s a harder pill to swallow for Tatum and the film wonderfully plays on that. Despite these two being cops, they still manage to get caught up on all the dumb stuff teenagers do; parties, drugs, it’s all there. The chemistry between Hill and Tatum is also responsible for many on screen laughs. They have completely different personalities and the film brings out the best of the them both.
For fans of the series, there are also plenty of references to the show as well as some well-placed cameos. While different in tone and story, the film manages to retain that classic show feel at times. 21 Jump Street is something that new and old fans alike can get behind. Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and everyone else involved deliver a hilarious comedy that’ll have you coming back for a second viewing.
Follow me on Twitter @Majiesto