Film Review: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum Have Fun on ‘21 Jump Street’

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CHICAGO – There are various opinions about TV-to-movie remakes, mostly negative. That is why “21 Jump Street,” based on a 1980s TV show, manages some grudging respect. Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Rob Riggle, Nick Offerman and Ellie Kemper create some goofy laughs in this farce. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This is not a serious effort to try and recreate the 1980s vibe of the TV show or even attempt to be serious. It is straight out buffoonery, anchored by Hill and Tatum’s absurd police recruit characters. The film also features some killer supporting players, the creme de la cremé of the ironic comedy scene. Although sometimes it veers into action movie mode, and is pretty blithe about the gunplay, Jump Street is a place worth visiting, if only to slip on a banana peel.

Jonah Hill is Schmidt and Channing Tatum is Jenko, newly minted police officers who ran with different crowds back in high school – the nerdy and bookish Schmidt was in contrast to the popular jock Jenko. When they meet again at the police academy they form an unlikely alliance, using what they know best to help each other through the cop training. There first assignment upon graduation is bike patrol in the park, and they overstep their authority during a botched drug bust.

This gets them a meeting with the inflexible Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman), who re-assigns them to a new undercover unit, located at – wait for it – 21 Jump Street. There they meet Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), the angry team leader, who briefs Schmidt and Jenko on the finer points of going back to high school, where their youthful looks will hopefully result in infiltrating a drug ring. In rediscovering their past in the present, they learn more about themselves than just procedural police work.

“21 Jump Street” opens everywhere on March 16th. Featuring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Nick Offerman, Dave Franco and Chris Parnell. Screenplay by Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “21 Jump Street”

Flashback: The Characters of Tatum and Hill in Their Real High School in ‘21 Jump Street’
Channing Tatum (Jenko) and Jonah Hill (Schmidt) Flashback to High School in ‘21 Jump Street’
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “21 Jump Street”

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