Cert: 15 Runtime: 109 mins Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Dave Franco and Johnny Depp
You know what they do to handsome guy like me in prison. It Rhymes with GRAPE. It Rhymes with grape
21 Jump Street back in the 80’s was known as the platform to Johnny Depp’s career as one of the best actors in Hollywood. Now the feature length version of 21 Jump Street has hit cinemas starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. I was not sure what to expect from this movie but I didn’t have much hopes for it either.Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are two rookie cops who went to high school together, though belonging to different social circles. Jenko was the popular jock while Schmidt was the unpopular nerd. When they realize each has something the other one needs, a friendship sparks and they become partners. After a failed drug bust, they’re reassigned to a special division when their police station decides to “revive a cancelled program from the 80s” (get it?). They’re sent to a local high school undercover as students to investigate and bring down a drug ring. Despite identical titles, I don’t know if we can even call this an adaptation of the show. While the TV show was primarily a drama, the film is essentially a satire of movies and shows like 21 Jump Street, fully aware of all of the clichés of its genre.
Let me get one thing straight: unlike the show (which deals with such heavy issues as child abuse, homophobia, AIDS, and hat crimes), this is a raunchy comedy. And the movie’s not afraid to admit it, as the first ten minutes alone provide us with a galore of genitalia and gross out gags. Normally, these would scare me away and become a liability when considering how one movie would score. Maybe it’s the fact that the funniest moments stem from witty banter or creative sequences rather than gross out themselves, but it the raunchiness didn’t seem to bother me. Then there’s Channing Tatum. If you were to bring his name up anytime before this year, I would shutter.I mean, we all know he might not have the greatest resume (‘Fighting’ anyone?), but he’s honestly one of the best things about this movie. So much so that he even manages to be better than Jonah Hill, one of the best comedic actors working today. Rob Riggle and Ice Cube each provide inspired supporting roles that are nearly laugh out loud funny each time they’re on screen, never feeling forced or overused.Does the film have problems? Well…yeah. I won’t deny that. Some of the jokes fall flat, while some jokes that initially worked are stretched a little too far. There’s the (inevitably) love story between one of the main characters and a high school girl feels too forced and only is there to serve as a ‘love story.’ But, for the most part, I completely enjoyed it, though I can see myself taking time to watch it again.