21 Jump Street starring Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill : A Silly Yet Funny Ride
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are on the opposite sides of the popularity chart in high school. Schmidt is successful at classes and a failure when it comes to girls. Jenko, on the other hand, is the prom king but the teachers’ nightmare. They have nothing in common.
Fast-forward 7 years. Both of these young men have chosen to be cops. As expected, Schmidt rocks at tests and sucks at the physical training, and vice versa for Jenko. They decide to be friends and join strengths. And it works- they both graduate the academy, and have formed a strong friendship.
But when they fail spectacularly in the beginning, and they are begrudgingly assigned as undercover cops to pose as high school students, because they look young.
This is when the comedy truly starts as Jenko realizes the rules of popularity have changed, as well as how fellow students are grouped. It also blows up in their faces when their identities get mixed and Schmidt has to pose as the athlete and Jenko as the nerd.
With their angry captain breathing down their neck and expecting results and with them realizing that they are starting to like their new roles, both their friendship and skills as cops will be tested.
Can they pull off the mission-without getting killed and ruining the friendship in the process?
Funny & Entertaining: But Could Have Been Hilarious
One problem with PG-13 and R-rated comedies in common is that they rarely push the boundaries in between, meaning PG-13 comedies almost strive to stay too clean, and R-rated ones go out of their way to be vulgar.
Some PG-13 romcoms have succeeded in finding a decent balance- such as Someone Like You and This Means War. From character interactions to language, from storylines to certain scenes, they feel a lot more natural than their other fellow PG-13 (romantic) comedies (Also these two have quite a high level of comedic scenes and theories, hence my reason to reference them.
Now, the problem with 21 Jump Street that they give the feeling that no one really talks like that, or acts like that. And they make a habit of keeping a lot of the characters’ jokes/reactions/language below the belt- to the point of looking ridiculous. If the movie pulls it off (The Hangover), it is hilarious. If it fails, it is annoying (The Hangover 2.)
Thankfully 21 Jump Street has some decent physical comedy and other funny situations to back up the vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake language, and it does make you laugh. A lot. Sometimes you laugh despite yourself.
But frankly, I was expecting to be a lot more hilarious after watching the trailer.
But the movie is fun, and there will also be a sequel. I can’t wait to see that one, though I suspect they will further abuse their freedom with the R rating since our boys will be “grown up.”
Should you see it?
If you don’t mind a lot of vulgarity, yes- definitely. Isn’t going to make it to one of the funniest films ever list, but this silly/incapable and highly emotional duo will entertain. Oh, not to mention- Johnny Depp, the original star of the 21 Jump Street series (although the series wasn’t a comedy), reassuming his role as Tom Hanson, makes a cameo- and makes us laugh our butts off in his short screen time. And man, that man doesn’t get old!
7.3 on IMDB. 6 from me- though with a less forced language, I’d have easily given it a 7.