Home > Movies > 21 JUMP STREET – Movie Review

21 JUMP STREET – Movie Review

I had heard strong early buzz from 21 Jump Street going in, but I ultimately wasn’t impressed by any of the marketing.  However, I was intrigued that Jonah Hill co-wrote the screenplay, and it was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the directing duo behind the surprisingly charming animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  And like the duo’s previous film, 21 Jump Street really surprised me; it’s one of the strongest comedies of the year so far.

The film is based off of the 1980s TV series, and it follows two young cops (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum), who are put on bike patrol duty at a park lake.  After an attempt at an arrest gone horribly wrong, the two are put into a program where they go undercover into a high school, dressed as kids, to find the source of a popular new drug.

The strongest part of 21 Jump Street is the buddy cop dynamic between Hill and Tatum.  They each have polar opposite characters, which they each portray very well, and when they clash, it’s comedic gold.  Their chemistry is great, and their banter made me laugh out loud several times.

A lot of the film’s humor relies on swearing and profanity, which I usually think is lazy.  However, the dialogue and the actors’ deliveries really sell it here.  Other jokes play with modern action movie clichés, and the audience’s perception of how they think certain moments will play out.

There’s also a fantastic reveal, which I do not want to spoil.  The less said about it, the better, but this scene surprised the entire audience at my screening, myself included, causing them to rip up into applause.

There are some flaws with the film, but they were expected.  The plot is formulaic and typical, by the standards of modern comedy movies.  Also, as ridiculous as the plot is, certain moments with characters really stretched credibility, including a subplot love story with Jonah Hill.  This really detracted from the rest of the film’s creativity.

Overall, 21 Jump Street is one of the many surprises we’ve had in the early months of 2012, and it’s sure to please audiences who are a fan of the R-rated brand of humor they’ve come to love from Jonah Hill.


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