21 Jump Street (2012)

21 Jump Street
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Strong violence, crude humour, coarse language, sexual references and drug use

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Actors: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Jake M. Johnson, Johnny Simmons, Dakota Johnson, Deray Davis, Dave Franco

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 go undercover in a local high school to investigate a dangerous drug ring. As they trade in their guns for backpacks, they realise they must confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all the issues they thought they had left behind.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 109mins
Origin: UNITED STATES
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
All class
by Simon Miraudo,

In this cinematic reimagining of the 80s TV show 21 Jump Street, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as incompetent and immature police officers banished to an experimental undercover department where they are tasked with infiltrating a high school. It’s fitting that Hill’s cherubim cop should be nervous about the task. Not because he has to fool teenagers into thinking that he’s similarly pubescent, not because he has to unearth a clandestine drug ring while attending classes, and not because his braces-wearing, bleach-blonde former self had such a horrid time trawling the halls the first time around. Rather, Hill – who produced and co-conceived the story here – has to compete with a certain other high school centric film he was a big part of: Superbad. When you star in one of the all-time...

In this cinematic reimagining of the 80s TV show 21 Jump Street, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as incompetent and immature police officers banished to an experimental undercover department where they are tasked with infiltrating a high school. It’s fitting that Hill’s cherubim cop should be nervous about the task. Not because he has to fool teenagers into thinking that he’s similarly pubescent, not because he has to unearth a clandestine drug ring while attending classes, and not because his braces-wearing, bleach-blonde former self had such a horrid time trawling the halls the first time around. Rather, Hill – who produced and co-conceived the story here – has to compete with a certain other high school centric film he was a big part of: Superbad. When you star in one of the all-time great teen comedies, it can be a risky move to return to the genre more than five years later (especially when you no longer look anything close to 17 years old).

But Hill has always been the most ambitious of Judd Apatow’s acolytes, which is why he has balanced raunchy comedies with sincere dramatic performances, and has also ventured into screenwriting and producing. His desperate and needy Schmidt in 21 Jump Street is a far cry from Superbad’s foul-mouthed Seth, not to mention his disturbed Cyrus from Cyrus, or his softly spoken Peter Brandt in Moneyball (for which he received an Oscar nomination). He is, despite early expectations, the emotional anchor in all of his movies. Fear not though: Phil Lord and Chris Miller's 21 Jump Street proves he can still bring the funny.

Tatum, who I’ve long been waiting to fulfil his end of the ‘next big thing’ hype bargain, proves he has the charm and comic chops to at least be an affable, dim-witted foil. His Jenko peaked in high school, and upon his not-so-triumphant return to the classrooms discovers that much has changed in his absence: 'not trying' is no longer cool, and caring about issues is the new 'in' thing. As Jenko gets relegated to the slums of loserdom, it’s up to the surprisingly now-popular Schmidt to figure out where class king and head dealer Eric (Dave Franco) is getting his supply of a dangerous new drug. That is, if he can keep from falling for Eric’s girl Molly (Brie Larson). (Side bar: though Hill and Larson’s chemistry is undeniable, and their characters are both above the legal age of consent, I wished someone – anyone – had noted the ick factor of an adult police officer romancing a teen.)

Screenwriter Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the execrable Project X) subverts expectations whenever he can (having Hill play the big man on campus and Tatum the vulnerable loser is a very nice switch). However, he’s stuck with an almost 30-year-old premise that likely seemed silly even then. He and the directors make hay with it where they can. Lord and Miller, responsible for the criminally underrated and short-lived animated series Clone High and the wonderful Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, have an astute comic timing, and play around with the editing in a manner that comedy directors rarely do (the class of Apatow eschew style in favour of letting the scene run long to squeeze in all the improv). The cast is augmented by wonderful comic performers, including Ellie Kemper as a teacher with the hots for Jenko, Rob Riggle as a skeezy P.E. coach, Ice Cube as every flustered sergeant in movie history, and Nick Offerman, briefly, as the boys’ first boss. Whoever was responsible for purchasing the screen rights to a corpse like 21 Jump Street and deciding to parade it around in 2012 may not have had the best intentions at heart, but the final product is a seriously funny and super-slick action comedy / high school flick rolled into one. It’s no Superbad, but it’s probably the best buddy movie in some time.

4/5

Check out Simon’s other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (61)

A great laugh and very entertaining. I actually watched it twice
Posted Tuesday, 4 February 2014 See my other reviews
Rob_M
says
It's painful to watch, tries way to hard to be in the comedy genre . I've had more laughs from a David Attenborough Docco
Posted Sunday, 19 January 2014 See my other reviews
hilarious!
Posted Friday, 18 October 2013 See my other reviews
A bit silly,more for the teenagers.
Posted Saturday, 7 September 2013 See my other reviews
Jess
says
Actually funnier than expected, some real laugh out loud moments. Glad I watched this one
Posted Tuesday, 3 September 2013 See my other reviews
Jean Downes
says
Not our style
Posted Saturday, 11 May 2013 See my other reviews
Ludmila
says
Silly teenager movie
Posted Tuesday, 30 April 2013 See my other reviews
GS
says
A lot of swearing in this.
Posted Saturday, 13 April 2013 See my other reviews
fun must see movie wile pissed
Posted Tuesday, 12 March 2013 See my other reviews
Casey
says
Funny laid back movie!!!
Posted Thursday, 7 March 2013 See my other reviews
Buddy cop comedy mixed with American Pie. Surprising chemistry between Tatum and Hill. I had low expectations going in to this film and was pleasantly surprised by some of the funnier moments that had me gasping for air.
Posted Saturday, 2 February 2013 See my other reviews
Ian
says
Very amusing homage to the original series... Great cameos and the two leads were excellent...
Posted Friday, 1 February 2013 See my other reviews
Funny & enjoyable. BEWARE - lots of swearing and sex references
Posted Sunday, 13 January 2013 See my other reviews
muddymech
says
funny, just bit of fun
Posted Friday, 11 January 2013 See my other reviews
Can't watch all this - what a lot of rubbish... nothing like the original TV series. The first five mins of the movie were okay but after than it went downhill. Why is it funny for people to talk to each other this way? We wonder why kids have no respect for their elders and then we show them this training film - how to disrespect other people. I give one star for Jonah, who always does his best.
Posted Wednesday, 9 January 2013 See my other reviews
Darren
says
Best comedy that I have seen in 2013. It is the 7th of January. Very funny, especially if you saw the TV series.
Posted Tuesday, 8 January 2013 See my other reviews
Tara
says
Well I had a few good laughs watching this movie. Story flows well with out you feeling lost in some over indulgent plot.
Posted Friday, 7 December 2012 See my other reviews
D.S
says
Can see why it didnt do well at the movies....not very entertaining at all.
Posted Friday, 30 November 2012 See my other reviews
Saw the trailer looks pretty good
Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 See my other reviews
Very funny! More than i expected.
Posted Monday, 26 November 2012 See my other reviews
Storyline isn't too bad, but the extreme crudeness and swearing seriously takes away from it.
Posted Tuesday, 13 November 2012 See my other reviews
Sarah
says
I'm giving this two stars only because my husband laughed through it.... It is not a womens movie - its a stupid blokes movie all about their genitalia really! most teen males/early 20 guys will think its funny - girls, dont bother!
Posted Monday, 12 November 2012 See my other reviews
Far as I can tell, it's just an excuse to use the F-word as often as possible in a movie. Sooo boring.
Posted Sunday, 4 November 2012 See my other reviews
Very entertaining
Posted Wednesday, 3 October 2012 See my other reviews
KJR
says
My teenage boys enjoyed the movie
Posted Wednesday, 3 October 2012 See my other reviews
Childish rubbish. Didn't make it past the first 1/2 hour.
Posted Wednesday, 3 October 2012 See my other reviews
Aaron Ramon Ki Re
says
Not bad, your typical cop comedy - the narcotic effects of the drug on the two guys is the best bit in the movie. Good to see Ice Cube acting angry again and not playing daddy in some boring kids movie.
Posted Tuesday, 2 October 2012 See my other reviews
one of the most funnest movies i have ever seen
Posted Friday, 28 September 2012 See my other reviews
very funny
Posted Thursday, 27 September 2012 See my other reviews
Interesting & Funny
Posted Friday, 21 September 2012 See my other reviews
MLV
says
Inane nonsense. Just not my cup of tea.
Posted Tuesday, 18 September 2012 See my other reviews
Anne
says
very funny!!!!
Posted Tuesday, 18 September 2012 See my other reviews
juliekym
says
Got a really good laugh from this one. Best comedy I have seen in quite a while. Tatum and Johah were really good in this and it was a clever comedy as well. Definately worth watching.
Posted Wednesday, 12 September 2012 See my other reviews
Jojo
says
This was fun - not to be taken too seriously and I don't think really to be compared to the TV version of Jump Street (which I adored!) Great cameo appearances by Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise - enjoy the ride - we did
Posted Friday, 7 September 2012 See my other reviews
Where is Johnny Depp when you need him - at the finale of the film. Please bring back the original 21 Jump Street. This one sucks!! Oops, was that a pun. LOL
Posted Thursday, 6 September 2012 See my other reviews
Robert
says
A couple of brainless idiots showing how stupid they are. How did they ever get to be police officers?
Posted Thursday, 6 September 2012 See my other reviews
should see it
says
This was a funny movie, its got to be seen! but I dont think I'd watch it again...
Posted Sunday, 2 September 2012 See my other reviews
Matthew B.
says
Not a bad film. Kinda fun.
Posted Saturday, 1 September 2012 See my other reviews
Michael P
says
I quite enjoyed this movie. It was an interesting combo of action Tatum and comedy Hill, but it worked well. Unlike the flop Ted, this movie gave me more laughs and more enjoyment. Jonah Hill seems to be slimming down as he gains fame (much like Seth Rogan), though he still plays the same kind of character from movie to movie. Of course, don't start watching this expecting to take it seriously - why would you? This is at heart a comedy. Have a laugh.
Posted Friday, 31 August 2012 See my other reviews
Andrew
says
Gave me a few laughs, which is good for a comedy these days. Channing Tatum did comedy well and Jonah Hill played the same guy he does in every movie. 2 and a half stars.
Posted Thursday, 30 August 2012 See my other reviews
Jono
says
Funny movie, but had way too much swearing and crudeness. Love the small links back to the original TV series with the background plots and some of the character names, and of course the cameos.
Posted Thursday, 30 August 2012 See my other reviews
delainey park
says
very funny and humorous
Posted Tuesday, 28 August 2012 See my other reviews
Anya
says
I've never watched the original 21 Jump Street TV show, so I can't compare, and I think that's a good thing. This film is made for this generation, with a lot of current pop culture. I think if you are 18-35ish you will love it, relate to it and find it totally hilarious, as I did. But I think you are a fan of the old TV show you probably won't enjoy this, perhaps with the excetion of Johnny Depp's cameo. Now I want to see the original 21 Jump Street! :)
Posted Friday, 24 August 2012 See my other reviews
Laura
says
So funny! Really enjoyed watching it.
Posted Friday, 24 August 2012 See my other reviews
bluecooperfan
says
Yep a funny movie indeed, sat laughing at loud at bits of it! Both boys fabulous, would watch it again
Posted Thursday, 23 August 2012 See my other reviews
Cindy K
says
Love the cameo with Johnny Depp. Jonah Hill is as expected, funny and entertaining. But I think I was expecting more since the title of this movie carries a big expectation as one of my most loved series back then.
Posted Sunday, 19 August 2012 See my other reviews
John
says
Funny and I liked it. Jonah Hill and C. Tatum entertained as I wanted them to.
Posted Friday, 17 August 2012 See my other reviews
Peanutbutter Sandwich
says
Funniest film I've seen in ages. Amusing references to the original but plenty of new ideas. Wonderful drug scenes. I'm surprised by the negative reviews as 21 Jump Street more than surpassed my moderate expectations. Way better than the extremely popular but, in my opinion, dreadfully predictable comedy smash hit Bridesmaids. Funny what people find funny... Anyway, I loved this and will be recommending to my friends. Watch it.
Posted Wednesday, 15 August 2012 See my other reviews
andrea
says
again,what a waste of my time.Only watched 30 mins,couldnt stand it anymore.The creators of this should have watched the original series to see what the story was actually about.The only resemblance to the original is the name.They have tried,way too hard,to make it funny.They didnt even get that right.What you have is a heap of rubbish with the "f" word thrown in every 2 mins.
Posted Monday, 13 August 2012 See my other reviews
andrew
says
movie spoilt by crude scenes & language.
Posted Saturday, 11 August 2012 See my other reviews
Margit
says
Loved it so funny
Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 See my other reviews
Kim
says
Funny movie, love the cameo's
Posted Thursday, 9 August 2012 See my other reviews
Kaila
says
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! I wasn't expecting much but it really impressed me. Silly humour ?
Posted Tuesday, 7 August 2012 See my other reviews
diane
says
totally awesome movie really enjoyed it especially the cameo role with the ever so hot johnny depp. so funny a must see channing tatum was fantastic in this movie. def reccommend highly.
Posted Tuesday, 31 July 2012 See my other reviews
Melzy
says
Excellent Lots of lol moments!!! Jonah hill is definitely the next adam sandler of this generation.
Posted Saturday, 28 July 2012 See my other reviews
Great Comedy, a must see if you like Jonah Hill
Posted Thursday, 26 July 2012 See my other reviews
Cindy
says
Could have done with more wit, a lot more class and far less of the cheap and easy Adam Sandler-type jokes. Jonah Hill proves yet again he is a comedy one-trick pony, while Channing Tatum displays all the personality and charm of a turnip. This will pass time on a rainy Sunday afternoon, but that's about it.
Posted Wednesday, 25 July 2012 See my other reviews
Paul
says
Some very clever observatonal humour but it was overwhelmed by the constant sexual trash-talk. Some fun moments though. Watch it and enjoy it but don't expect too much from it or the inevitable sequel.
Posted Tuesday, 24 July 2012 See my other reviews
kimbo
says
A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. Disappointing and childish. Rubbish
Posted Sunday, 22 July 2012 See my other reviews
jtbug
says
Very funny. Jonah and Channing are the best comedy duo team-up since Pegg and Frost in Hot Fuzz. Johnny Depp's cameo could've been funnier. Other than that I loved this movie.
Posted Friday, 20 July 2012 See my other reviews
natalie
says
hilarious!! i saw this at the movies 3 times, its that good!
Posted Thursday, 14 June 2012 See my other reviews