1 hour, 49 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence
Jonah Hill ...
Channing Tatum ...
Brie Larson ...
Dave Franco ...
Rob Riggle ...
DeRay Davis ...
Ice Cube ...
Dax Flame ...
Chris Parnell ...
Ellie Kemper ...
Holly Robinson Peete ...
Officer Judy Hoffs
Based on the television series that made Johnny Depp a star, 21 Jump Street is a surprisingly touching buddy story. Jenko (Channing Tatum) is a former high school burnout who, as a cop, never quite
bothered to learn the Miranda Rights and got through the Academy largely
through coaching from his buddy Schmidt (Jonah Hill).
We first meet Jenko and
Schmidt briefly in high school as two very different kinds of losers. A zippy montage takes them to their first weeks on the job as bike
cops, ineptly making an arrest in a public park and celebrating as if
they've saved the planet. They're immature and not especially good at
their jobs, but their unlikely friendship feels believable from the
start, as Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill make a surprisingly natural comedic duo.
But being cops isn't quite as exciting as they thought it would be until they're assigned to the Jump Street squad run by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). He assigns them to work undercover at a high school to
bust a drug dealing ring. That's when the film takes on a very, very loose structure. But, there's a welcome touch of romance when Schmidt falls for his hip high-school chum Molly (Brie Larson). And there are also a gang of geeky
new friends for Jenko, including Eric (Dave Franco), a
drug dealer who writes songs about recycling and has
plans to attend Berkeley.
21 Jump Street hits a high point when Jenko and Schmidt are forced to
take the drugs they're rounding up and Channing Tatum proves himself to be an able
physical comedian, but otherwise the film meanders its way to a big climax set,
where else? - at the prom. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs") keep up the
film's energy through an exciting car chase, a genuinely fun
party scene and a ridiculous fight that takes place during a performance of Peter Pan. In the rare moments where you're not laughing, it's hard not to notice that the plot is spinning its wheels so much that returning to the ostensible plot starts to feel like a
drag after a while.