21 Jump Street {2012}

Cast: , ,

Directors: ,

Written By: Michael Bacall,

IMDB Synopsis:  A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.

Review:  Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall remade what some consider to be a cult American television show from the nineties. It is famous for being one of Johnny Depp's career changers but when the film came out nothing of this seemed to be known by the 16 year olds I affiliated with. None of us at school knew what it was (perhaps it was due to the target audience being too young to have seen the original show or it just not being as popular in the UK) nor heard the usual grumblings often present throughout the production of a remake so when I arrived at the cinema to find the screen filled it was an odd experience. Once I left the cinema though it was apparent why it was so popular. In preparation for the second film - appropriately called 22 Jump Street- I re watched the film to become reacquainted with the story and found it to be just as (perhaps even more) funny than the first time.

The story follows new officers Jenko and Schmidt, once enemies but turned friends after high school, as they are pulled from traffic duty to an undercover programme that throws them back into high school looking for a new drug that is threatening to break out across the state.

The main element that makes this film work so well is the chemistry between the two leads. Tatum and Hill work very well together often bouncing off each other and aiding each other in the scene. It is clear that the friendship is real. This teamed with the strong and surprisingly intricate storyline makes a great tag team.

The trailer makes the film seem like another slapstick comedy, like Superbad or Knocked Up, this is not the case. The plot offers you no obvious' whodunnit' storyline but with the gradual build up offers an increasingly dark case that takes the heroes on the mission of their life and also a journey of self discovery. The film also altered the stereotypes of teenagers away from the 'mean girls' and 'sporty boys' to the hipster trend that is openly becoming a trend. With these deeper themes around the hilarity it makes for an enjoyable film that keeps you engaged throughout instead of leading to waning attentions like other comedies of a similar variety.
Surprisingly it was Channing Tatum that gave the stand out performance. Even in serious films Jonah Hill manages to be funny - he is a typecast as the comedic  relief. Tatum was always the romantic interest to me and not much more (She's the man, Dear John and The Vow all seemed to have him in a single role) but in this he showed a wider range by proving himself as a man of many talents by drawing just as many laughs from the audience than his more experienced counter part.

Filled with star studded cameos, action, adventure, romance and even slapstick jokes this film has everything to keep you entertained throughout no matter what your tastes. It is the rare kind of comedy that seems to cater to everybody.

Rating 4/5


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