Movie Review: 21 Jump Street

Grade: A
By Sydney Gore
Eagle Contributing Writer
March 18, 2012

If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud, action packed movie this spring, “21 Jump Street” is your best bet.

Directed by Phil Lord (“Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”) and Christopher Miller (“Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”), the R-rated film is a crowd pleaser with that will make you laugh out loud from beginning to end.

Full of hilarious and witty lines courtesy of Michael Bacall (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), the film is a remake of the old ‘80s T.V. series created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell, starring Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean”).

From the get-go, the film starts in 2005 when Jenko (Channing Tatum, “Step Up”) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill, “Superbad”) are seniors in high school. The two are on opposite spectrums of the popularity chart; Jenko is the popular jock and Schmidt is the brace-face wannabe Slim Shady. Prior to graduation, the two enroll into the police academy and become instant best friends, using their weaknesses to balance each other out, making the seemingly perfect duo; Schmidt provides the brain power while Jenko the physical strength.

After a drugs bust gone wrong, Jenko and Schmidt are sent to 21 Jump Street — a run-down Korean church — where they are assigned an undercover job to pose as high school students and find the source of the hot drug “HFS.”

As Captain Dickson (Ice Cube, “Boyz n the Hood”) says, their mission is to “infiltrate the dealers [and] find the supplies.” Tatum and Hill must embrace their stereotypes and use them to their advantage as they pretend to be teenagers.

When they are enrolled into the school as Doug and Brad McQuain, to their astonishment, high school is not the same as it used to be. This is where their new friend Eric (Dave Franco, “Superbad”) — a handsome, popular kid in school — comes in and sets their plans into motion.

Tatum really breaks out of his mold as the strong, sensitive, quiet guy who can bust a move on command. He proves to everyone that he could be funny and taken seriously at the same time, tackling people and spouting unwittingly comedic lines. Of course, he’ll make the ladies swoon during the sentimental parts, but that’s what he does best.

With his new slim and shaven image, Hill doesn’t fall short of is usual, hilarious self, making some of the most random and outrageous comments throughout the film.

Ice Cube’s appearances were short, but always satisfying. He was very sassy and every line he delivered was a cross between amusing and offensive, in a good way.

The only downside to this film is one of the fight scenes — the camera went completely out of focus and the whole frame was blurry. Besides that one scene, the rest of the film else was fine. In fact, the pace of it all was relatively fast so none of the scenes lagged or felt awkward.

This film has it all — high school parties, car chases, plays, shoot-outs, fights, explosions and a prom night. It’s not just about busting drugs — this film is about friendship, brotherhood and not choking when duty calls.


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