Film: 21 Jump Street
Running Time: 109 minutes
Remember 21 Jump Street? The original was a late 80’s undercover cop drama that gave Johnny Depp street cred as a teen idol, writes Natalie Stendall.
Here it is recast with Jonah Hill (Superbad, MoneyBall) and Channing Tatum (The Vow) as two new, naive cops with very different skill sets, sent undercover as high school students to identify drug suppliers.
As clever Schmidt (Hill) dreads the return to high school, where he was labelled a nerd, Jenko (Tatum) relishes the idea of returning to his days as a cool and popular jock. But, in true comedy style, the pair mix up their identities and find that in the seven years since they graduated, high school is a very different place.
Just when high school comedies were drifting from tired to downright exhausted, 21 Jump Street has leapt onto the big screen with a refreshing new take on the genre.
On the back of Glee’s idea that ‘different’ is the new ‘cool’, 21 Jump Street’s popular students are those with a passion for the environment, good causes and who wear their backpacks with two straps.
Hill and Tatum work perfectly together as unlikely friends whose bromance begins when they realise they can unite their strengths to pass the police exams.
Both bring a charm and charisma that makes their characters loveable and the film irresistible. Ice Cube also puts in a hilarious performance as the pair’s uncompromising boss.
21 Jump Street is incredibly funny. Gags are fired out in such quick succession that the film moves along at an incredible pace.
Whilst the most insightful jokes often result from the characters themselves, some real guffaws come from slapstick action sequences. There’s also a nod to the video-game style screen shots from writer Michael Bacall’s Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
Refreshingly imaginative and hilariously perceptive, 21 Jump Street is the best comedy to hit the big screen in a long time. Don’t miss it.