Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

’21 Jump Street’ Review: The Best Comedy of the Year!

I saw this movie twice, that’s how much I loved it. Well, the second time I saw it, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube made an appearance at the theatre, which is a huge reason why I went, but STILL this movie is just that funny and fantastic!

I’m not familiar with the TV show 21 Jump Street, that ran from 1987-1991 which is apparently the show that made Johnny Depp a star (even though I thought Cry Baby or Edward Scissorhands did that), but the film is not a satire of the show. It does make fun of the cop buddies storyline a bit, but that’s not what the movie is entirely about. 21 Jump Street is just an all-around, absolutely hilarious good time in the theatre.

Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) hated each other in high school but when they find themselves in the same police academy eight years later, the two decide to become friends and help each other graduate. When a special mission comes up, the two are assigned to go undercover as high school students to break up a drug operation. The film actually makes fun of itself in a way when their boss says to them, “We’re reviving an old program from the ’80s.”

Schmidt and Jenko, who have both experienced high school before as an Eminem-wannabe and a football jock, respectively, think they know the ins and outs of what’s cool and what’s not so they can easily fit into the popular crowd. But to their surprise, high school has changed and the smart kids are popular, comic books are cool and theatre is hip.

On their first day, they meet Eric (the super-cute Dave Franco), a lovable member of the student body and also the main guy who is selling the new synthetic drug that has caught the attention of the police, due to one student’s overdose that led to his death. Police Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) who is in charge of watching over Schmidt and Jenko’s operation enforces that they find the all the dealers and the supplier to crack the case.

Michael Bacall, who co-wrote Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Project X certainly gives the cast bright and vivacious lines and Hill and Tatum are fantastic at delivering them.

I’m a huge fan of Jonah Hill. He’s naturally funny and has a huge on-screen presence that just draws the audience right in. Also, this year has been HUGE for Tatum. He was in Haywire and The Vow, and the actor continues to become more engaging with each movie. This is also the first movie I’ve seen where he didn’t take his shirt off, which may disappoint some female viewers, but it was refreshing to see him depend on his acting abilities and not his abs!

21 Jump Street is a movie that you can watch with anyone and should definitely be seen in theatres. It’s not only the best comedy of the year, its the best comedy I’ve seen in a long time!

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