When I first saw the preview for 21 Jump Street, I thought it was going to be a sloppy, raunchy R-rated comedy during the Spring slump of movie season.
I’m happy to say that I was wrong.
21 Jump Street is the best comedy I’ve seen since 2011’s Bad Teacher and it’s probably better than Cameron Diaz’s hilarious role as a teacher who wants nothing more than a breast augmentation.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play clumsy cops who have one thing on their side: a youthful appearance. So, they are assigned to a special division called 21 Jump Street where they must go undercover as high school students to catch the creator of a new, dangerous drug.
Though I expected Jonah Hill to shine as the comedic backbone, Channing Tatum was the true star. He comes off flat in romantic comedies and action flicks like The Vow and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but in 21 Jump Street, he portrays a hilarious jock turned nerd who bands with a group of high school geeks.
“And I don’t know if you noticed, but this kid is white. So people actually give a ****.”
-21 Jump Street’s Ice Cube on the death of a high school student due to drugs
Ice Cube, who plays Hill and Tatum’s captain, was surprisingly funny as well. He plays to and against the stereotype of an angry, African American police captain. Stereotypes- breaking them and acknowledging them- are the source of comedy for this film. Making fun of traditional action film and cop movie plot lines were some of my favorite parts.
And, of course, the film plays homage to the original late 80s television series, 21 Jump Street, starring Johnny Depp and Dustin Nguyen.
The end of the film hints at a possible sequel in which Hill and Tatum will have to pose as college students. Hopefully the cops will be at it again in a few years.