21 JUMP STREET Movie Review

Other than sharing the title, 21 JUMP STREET is nothing like the Stephen J. Cannell show that launched Johnny Depp's career. In fact, the 21 JUMP STREET movie makes fun of the typical high school cliques and the back to high school formula.  The smartly-written script has Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill playing fumbling rookie cops recruited to work in the newly reinstated 21 Jump Street program as undercover high school students.   Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are tasked with finding the ring leader responsible for a new drug killing high school students online.

The best part about 21 JUMP STREET is its a twist on the back to school formula.  At the start of the movie Channing Tatum's character is the popular dumb jock and Jonah Hill is the outcast bullied by the popular kids. It's not until both meet up again in the police academy when they become friends and eventually partners. Then the buddy cop bromance hijinks begins.


MOVIE CLIP: Ice Cube Pokes Fun at Angry Black Man Stereotype in 21 JUMP STREET

The inept rookie cops are assigned to bicycle patrol and when they screw up an arrest, they're sent off to the reinstated 21 JUMP STREET headed by Ice Cube. You  expect the movie to take a predictable turn as the characters return to high school and resume their former lifestyles, but the screenwriters turn it around. When Schmidt and Jenko go undercover as brothers, they  find out high school life is not what he used to be.  Dumb jocks are now the outcasts and the in-crowd are now the gay kids, the environmentalists and the sensitive types.  Channing delivers one of the funniest lines in the movie when he blames the show Glee for the social change.  His character is forced to become friends with the geeks and Hill's Jenko becomes the popular kid in school. The switch in roles was refreshing and the chemistry between the unlikely friends becomes the center of the plot.  Not only is it hilarious but you care about the two characters and the unifying element.

The smartly-written script makes social commentary on everything current in pop culture, including the online culture which makes everyone a star. Johan Hill championed the project and conceived the story.  This is a good follow up for Hill after his Academy Award nominated role in Moneyball that should cement his new status.  

I'm sure everyone wants to know about cameos from the original cast of 21 JUMP STREET specifically Johnny Depp. Holly Robinson Peete's small role was revealed in the trailer so no suprise there, and Johnny Depp's quick visit had the audience gasping when it happens because it was unexpected.  I won't say anymore except to reassure everyone that Richard Grieco is no where on-screen.

21 JUMP STREET is extremely funny with Hill and Tatum making a great on-screen team. While I usually dislike sequels to comedies, you can't help but want to see these two collaborate again.

21 JUMP STREET is now playing in movie theatres.

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