’21 Jump Street’ Review
Written by: Matthew Mupfanochiya
Jonah Hill’s Schmidt and Channing Tatum’s Jenko meet in high school where they face very different challenges. Schmidt cannot fit in anywhere and faces major humiliation when he asks the “hot” girl out to prom. Jenko’s problems are much more serious he can’t seem to pass a class.
Fast forward a few years and add some decent haircuts, Schmidt and Jenko meet at police academy where they look beyond school social structures and help each other to pass the academy. Our two coppers are let loose on the general public to the nation’s detriment. After botching up a park drug bust the bumbling pair are sent to the Jump Street program where they will be placed in deep cover as high school students with the aim of finding the source and supply of a new drug (HFS)
21 Jump Street is not a remake or a love letter to the original TV series – this is a standalone movie that uses the basic premise and a few character names from an existing franchise as a launch pad for a new story.
This is a comedy that simply works. There is nothing particularly new about the situations we find our characters but the jokes and the performances rise above the cookie cutter premise.
For any remake to work the certain elements of the story have to be made current and relevant to present day; this is done with great effect in 21 Jump Street. The writers successfully create a high school environment that is familiar but strangely different – this allows us as the audience relate to relate to the lead characters.
21 Jump Street is full of modern pop culture references and does not recycle any jokes. There is a nice blend of physical humour, visual cues and some brilliant on liners.
Jonah Hill is a talented actor – I did not believe this until Moneyball he brings vulnerability, accessibility to Schmidt. Channing Tatum is very likable as Jenko, while there is no great depth to his performance, his comedic timing is impeccable.
The supporting cast has a great time and deliver some genuine laughs – Ice Cube deserves special mention for is turn as captain Dixon.
This is brilliant light-hearted viewing, funny, intelligent jokes delivered well, in tightly edited motion ion picture. 21 Jump Street finds the perfect balance between not taking itself too seriously without insulting the audience. Of course there a plot holes but hey this is 21 Jump Street.
This is a fun trip to the movies