Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)


   “Well, you do have the right to be an attorney if you want to….”

In the action-comedy 21 Jump Street, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are more than ready to leave their adolescent problems behind. Joining the police force and the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school. As they trade in their guns and badges for backpacks, Schmidt and Jenko risk their lives to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring. But they find that high school is nothing like they left it just a few years earlier – and neither expects that they will have to confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all the issues they thought they had left behind. – ROTTEN TOMATOES

21 Jump street is an action comedy film from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who both share direction credits. It’s also based upon the 80’s TV show of the same name that starred Johnny Depp.  The film stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Now I wasn’t really that interested in 21 Jump Street if I’m honest. I think it was Jonah Hill’s last film, The Sitter, which was universally panned as being terrible. I was worried that I was going into another bad Jonah film. To my surprise this wasn’t the case.

Jonah Hill plays Morton Schmidt, essentially the brains and the uncool one of the pairing. He’s very nerdy and was  never popular – as we see early in the film whilst there in high school. Think Slim Shady and your spot on. He’s a character I think a lot could sympathise with as well. Hill is very funny in this role, it’s what you expect really being a comedian and after the shocking film, The Sitter, it seems he’s got right back on the horse.

Channing Tatum, who plays Greg Jenko is the typical huge, cool, party-hard jock type. He’s basically your stereotypical sports guy in high-school that was hugely popular and got all the girls. Now I don’t rate Channing Tatum as anything, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Tatum film until 21 Jump Street – and he wasn’t the selling point! But to my real surprise Channing Tatum was actually really good. This guy has some comedy chops and the chemistry between him and Jonah Hill is magnetic and hilarious. Perhaps he should leave trying to do ‘serious’ acting for a while do more of these.

As for the film as a whole it’s surprisingly fantastic. It’s really funny and witty that also had a lot of heart. Think of it as kind of US version of Hot Fuzz. Both films share similarities with the comic-action and blazing gun battles that join the story together. It’s easily watchable and doesn’t feel like a drag, it had me hooked the way through, which is a good sign for a comedy film. Probably the best buddy-cop film since Hot Fuzz really (we’ll pretend Cop Out doesn’t exist).

Honestly, this is so far the biggest surprise package of the year and the best film you will see in March. Which I know isn’t hard considering its been an overall dire month. 21 Jump Street will make you laugh and is very much worth your time.

4 Responses to “Review: 21 Jump Street (2012)”
  1. Dan O'Neill says:

    Hill and Tatum are great together here and add a lot to this film’s comedy but it’s just the way it is all written that makes it even richer. It’s making fun of those high school comedy conventions but at the same time, is inventing it’s own as it goes on. Great review. Check out mine when you can.

    • Luke Grima says:

      Nice thorough review you’ve done. Solid read.

      21 Jump Street really has no right to be as good as it is but it’s just so damn funny! 

      Thanks for the comment. 

  2. FrontRoomCinema says:

    yee haw!!

    Great review Luke!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Louise says:

    When I first heard about this I was a little concerned, especially when Jonah Hill was cast (I’ve never really found him funny) but I enjoyed the trailer and everyone’s reviews seem to be pretty positive.  Maybe I should get myself a ticket to go and see…

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