Film Review: 21 Jump Street

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as disgraced policemen sent undercover at a local high school.

21 Jump Street

Cert. 15

3/5 stars

ANYONE old enough to remember the original 1980’s television series of the same name is unlikely to still be inclined to see a film based on two ropey cops being sent undercover in a local high-school-but the promise of a cameo from Johnny Depp, who made his name in 21 Jump Street the TV series, made a little more sense of this odd re-make.

Polar opposites at high-school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), wind-up as partners after completing police training together.

Sick of patrolling the local park on bicycles, and desperate for some ‘real’ action, the pair set upon a group of bikers, only to inadvertently land in hot water with the under-cover police unit.

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No-nonsense Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) sends the pair back to school as undercover students, in the hope they can trace the supplier of a new synthetic drug.

The storyline and characters are nothing new, making 21 Jump Street the most predictable film since Titanic, but Tatum and Hill are comedy gold, with the chemistry to match.

Directing duo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs), don’t seem the type to have churned out an aimless action flick, and a closer look at 21 Jump Street suggests the pair have purposefully stuck to a retro, if predictable, story line and character arsenal, in homage to the kinds of cop shows that inspired them as kids.

The multi-million dollar budget lends their 80’s throwback project some SFX muscle, which, along with an hilarious script and at least one male-lead with a jaw-line you could file your nails on, covers all the bases required to make bank at the box office.