In the fun-loving comedy “21 Jump Street,” Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) is introduced as the “not-so-Slim-Shady” in high school as he gets tripped up when he asks a girl to prom. Infamous school bully and jock Greg Jenko (Channing
Tatum) loves nothing more than to watch Schmidt struggle throughout his high school career.
Out of high school and seven years later, both men are enrolled in the police academy. The two foes, who once walked on opposite sides of the halls in high school, become allies and best friends as they realize they need each another in order to graduate from the academy.
While on patrol, they seek to prove themselves to their chief, but end up making a poor
attempt at an arrest by forgetting to read the criminals their Miranda rights. Their disappointed chief sends the underachieving duo back to high school for an undercover operation to unveil a synthetic drug ring.
Tatum, know for his heartthrob roles, steps out of his comfort zone for the film and proves to be surprisingly funny. With the help of Hill, whose quirky attitude never fails to bring on the laughs, Tatum shines in his unexpected yet delightful comedic role.
Despite being a comedy, “21 Jump Street” has plenty of drama to drive the plot. High school has changed since Schmidt and Jenko attended — now the eco-friendly activist Eric (Dave Franco) is deemed the most popular kid of the school. In one of the more humorous scenes, Schmidt and Jenko throw a party to dupe the cool crowd into accepting them and including them in the drug ring. When preparing for the party they look at each other and ask, “How will we get booze? We don’t have fake IDs” and then soon realize they are well of age.
The back-and-forth dialogue between the pair makes the film rich and enjoyable. In addition, the consistent action and car chases grab hold of the viewer’s attention.
One of the best surprises was a cameo from Johnny Depp, who starred in the original ’80s television series. Even Depp, who usually takes on more serious roles, was shockingly witty. The film undoubtedly brought out a comical side in all actors involved.
“21 Jump Street” was directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and written by Michael Bacall.