MARK SALDANA'S REVIEW
RATING: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Growing up during the 80s, I was never a huge fan of the original TV show. I would watch it every so often, but not religiously. When I first heard about the remake starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, I scoffed, thinking about some of the failed TV show remakes which have attempted to score big at the cinema (DRAGNET, THE FLINTSTONES, MCHALE’S NAVY). The list can go on. One would think that after so many failures, film producers would stop using this formula for failure. Well apparently, a movie studio saw something in this one. After watching it, laughing constantly, and having an all around great time, I am so glad this one was green lit. 21 JUMP ST. successfully takes the premise of high school undercover narcs and puts a hilarious spin on it. This is mainly courtesy of the superlative script by Michael Bacall and star Jonah Hill.
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are two bored, mediocre cops looking for thrills and excitement in their work. When one arrest goes awry, the two are re-assigned “Jump Street”. Under the leadership of Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), Schmidt and Jenko are sent to investigate a narcotics ring which has taken over a high school. The narcs are forced to face their “glory days” of high school and the demons of their past. The once inept offices have to step up their game and prove themselves.
I had such a blast watching this movie. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller do a stupendous job with the action sequences as well as the comedic ones. In fact these moments often wonderfully overlap. I love the script by Hill and Bacall which celebrates and pokes fun at action movie clichés at the same time. This idea isn’t an original or groundbreaking one. Movies such as HOT FUZZ have had their fun with action films. Nevertheless, 21 JUMP ST. has its own feel and style to it. Almost all of the jokes and gags had me laughing hard and sometimes applauding. I had such a great time watching this movie.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum work exceptionally well together and deliver top performances. Even Tatum stretches his comedic chops and seems to do it with ease. The film also features fine performances by Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Brie Larson, Rob Riggle, and Nick Offerman. I found not one weak link among the cast.
Now this movie does not hold back with the language and content. So this film won’t appeal to everyone. If consistent strong language is not an issue, then I must highly recommend this movie. I laughed repeatedly. I even cried. Well, the crying came from laughing so hard. I honestly believe this is worth a full priced ticket. I had such a great time that I might even pay to go see it again.