Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Rob Riggle, Dave Franco, Brie Larson
Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Here comes the most pleasant surprise of the movie year.
In theory, it shouldn’t work – a revamp of an 80s action TV show which was from Stephen J “A Team” Cannell and starred Johnny Depp.
But this Hollywood remake and update is surprisingly great, ever so slightly silly entertainment, self knowing and yet respectful and as a result, ends up being a really good night out at the cinema.
Hill stars as Morton Schmidt, a former high school loner and misfit who ends up partnering with his high school jock nemesis Greg Jenko (Tatum) when they end up in police academy after finishing their school years.
The two realise each other has a way of helping them graduate academy – Schmidt can help with the book smarts to the somewhat dim Jenko and Jenko can help Schmidt with his lack of fitness and confidence.
When they end up graduating, they’re assigned to park patrol despite their dreams of achieving greatness, they find themselves kicked out of even that menial job after messing up an arrest.
So, due to their youthful looks, their boss sends them off to join the 21 Jump Street division, run by Ice Cube’s Captain Dickson. That team is responsible for dealing with crime among teenagers and in schools…
Their first assignment – go back to high school and stop a synthetic drug from spreading from campus to campus by finding the supplier.
But it seems both of the pair, working undercover, have a score to settle from their old days…
Smart, self mocking and yet reverential, 21 Jump Street is a raucously riotous action comedy film which doesn’t skimp on the R Rated behaviour and language but certainly brings the funny.
Mixing a mocking of the genre with a knowing nostalgic look at 80s action films (one chase sequence sees Hill opining that two potential explosions don’t actually occur – which of course is a poke at any explosion in any of the 80s shows penned by Canning which always ended in garguantuan fireballs) and a lot of genuinely laugh out loud funny moments, 21 Jump Street provides plenty of brain in neutral entertainment.
All in all, 21 Jump Street, which ends on the definite promise of a very welcome sequel, is good entertainment coupled with a dollop of obligatory R rated moments. But, it’s also great fun and respectful of the show it sprang from – it’s definitely worth your time and you may be surprised how much you actually enjoy it.