21 Jump Street review

Phil Lord & Chris Miller
Jonah Hill
Channing Tatum
Dave Franco
Rob Riggle
Ice Cube
Rated: R

Channing Tatum is surprisingly at his best when in comedies.

21 Jump Street is the updated re-imagining of the 80s cop show. The film follows two characters, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum). During their high school years the two didn’t exactly get along with Jenko being popular and Schmidt not being in the ‘incrowd’ however they meet up again during their time at a police academy and team up to overcome their obstacles, becoming friends in the process.

The story picks up with them just as they are getting into their jobs on the force, however the two mess things up quite a bit and are re assigned to an operation called 21 Jump Street, where young looking cops infiltrate high schools to crack down on crime. The two are sent to a high school to deal with a new drug however Schmidt gets a little caught up in trying to have a new high school experience.

The idea itself isn’t at all original with this being a remake and a part of the buddy-cop genre, however, it is executed and written in a way that keeps it fresh and fun the whole way through. It moves along well and while some parts are a little predictable it doesn’t fall to deep into some of the traps that a weaker film might have done.

The real strength of the film is Hill and Tatum who actually have great comedic timing with each other. The friendship between the two comes off as believable and both are able to deliver the comedy very well. In fact this might be the most I’ve liked both of these actors from all of their films so far.

The supporting cast was good too, Rob Riggle had some great moments and the drug dealing student Eric played by Dave Franco was funny too. One area that was kind of weak was the romantic plot between Schmidt and the high school girl Molly played by Brie Larson. It’s not portrayed badly, it’s just not the best part of the film.

The humor was a little bit slow at first. The first few bits of comedy was just OK in the very beginning. The movie gets funnier and funnier as it goes on, though, where toward the end there were quite a few great laughs. One scene that was a favorite of mine was a really inventive car chase sequence.

Overall, 21 Jump Street is my favorite comedy in a while. It’s for the most part written well and a bit smarter than most high school and buddy cop movies. I got a lot of laughs out of it and wouldn’t even mind seeing a sequel for it in the future. 4 out of 5 (And as an added bonus there was a fantastic cameo).

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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