Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Crime
Runtime: 109 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
The 2012 film 21 Jump Street is one of the better entries into the buddy-cop genre. This action-comedy is about Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), two inept police officers who’re assigned to pose as high schoolers to bring down a ring of drug dealers. You can think of it as a party-hardy high school movie with more explosions and gunfire.
21 Jump Street is simply a very, very funny film, no matter how you slice it. High-brow it ain’t, but if you don’t think the scene where the two leads converse with Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) while losing their minds on drugs is hilarious, then I don’t want to know you. Yes, there are a couple of predictable beats in the picture, but most of it feels quite fresh.
There’s more humor than shoot-’em-up here, but the action scenes are competent (and bloody) when they do arrive. The gunplay and car chase action are mostly relegated to the third act, but the rest of the flick is so damn enjoyable that those who came just for the violence won’t be too frustrated. The pacing is noticeably fast, so there’s no worries in that department.
This is an immensely likeable comedy that has great chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. The overwhelming majority of jokes landed (for me, at least) and the characters were easy to distinguish from one another, partially thanks to being played by an all-star cast. I can’t say that 21 Jump Street is for everyone, but, if there’s something inherently comical to you about two trigger-happy cops posing as teenagers, you’ll need to check it out.
My rating is 8 outta 10.