21 Jump Street

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill might just be the dream team. In their newest movie, 21 Jump Street, based on the ‘80s TV show by the same name, they work perfectly together to make everyone, young and old, laugh from the opening moments to the final scene.

The movie opens with a geeky Schmidt (Hill) asking the stereotypical pretty girl to prom; meanwhile, his tormenting jock peer Jenko (Tatum) mocks him from behind a locker door. After Schmidt gets heartbreakingly turned down, the movie flashes forward to seven years later, when they decide to combine their talents to both make it into the police force.

Although their friendship was founded on manipulation for eventual profit, they work fantastically together as best friends. They play off each other in the most absurd and amusing ways, making this buddy-buddy cop flick complete.

They graduate from law enforcement training and are assigned to 21 Jump Street, an undercover, not-so-professional police operation, after a drug bust gone awry. Here, they meet their new boss: Steven Williams (Ice Cube).

I’m fairly certain Ice Cube was the highlight of the entire movie. His emphasis on expletives and the wonderfully derogatory way he addresses Schmidt and Jenko make for laugh-out-loud comedy. This is definitely where teenagers who loved Superbad and The Hangover will get a kick out of the movie: It’s the perfect amount of offensive content that the younger generation needs.

As part of their new undercover assignment, they are sent back to the high school where Schmidt was tormented and Jenko was the big man on campus. They are put in charge of finding who is dealing the newest drug on the scene, called HFS (which stands for something users tend to say as soon as they take it), and stopping the spread of the drug to other schools. The filmmakers portrayal of the drug’s effects were priceless: the first stage being the giggles, the second involving hallucinations of a coach with an ice cream cone for a head and his eyebrows running away from his face, the last being “asleepiness” which basically consists of passing out.

The most unrealistic aspect of the movie is how the two main characters switch places. Sure, I can see Jonah Hill going back to high school and fitting in; his comedic talents would get him in with any of the cool kids. But the fact that Channing Tatum, a proclaimed “hot guy,” turns out to only fit in with the nerds while still looking like a mature, attractive high schooler, is seriously unlikely. If you put Tatum around a group of teenage girls, he’s bound to be popular.

The movie’s attempt at action was mediocre, but I think that was intentional. Filmmakers knew it was a comedy, so the fact that Tatum’s punches weren’t in time with the sounds they made was intentioned. And the running joke of the movie was absolutely certain explosions not exploding at all, pretty much solidifying my opinion.

Seeing 21 Jump Street, I shared the theater with my parents, and despite the very mature language, they still found it to be one of the funniest movies they have seen in a long time. It has the perfect amount of ‘80s nostalgia, including a very brief cameo by Johnny Depp, the star of the original TV show. This movie appeals to many different crowds and wasn’t disappointingly unfunny as I expected this remake to be.

4 out of 5 stars