21 Jump Street: "You Are Here Because You Some Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus Looking Motherf**kers"

Director: Phil Lord
               Chris Miller
Writer:    Jonah Hill
               Michael Bacall
Starring: Jonah Hill
               Channing Tatum
               Brie Larson
               Ice Cube
               Ellie Kemper
               Dave Franco
               Rob Riggle
               Nick Offerman
               Jake Johnson
               Peter DeLuise
               Holly Robinson Peete
               Johnny Depp
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

This is a self mocking (meta) and tongue in cheek treatment of popular 80's TV series 21 Jump Street, and as a whole it works. Thanks to it's two appealing comedic stars, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, the two naive cops allow the audience to ignore the occasionally messy script.

The movie begins with one big cliche, as directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller force upon us a procession of visual gags that aim to highlight the two lead characters' laziness by showing it with extremely dynamic camerawork effects and techniques. the idea, I guess, is to poke fun at the over-the-top nature of the action genre, but it becomes pretty dull and stale through its repetitive nature.

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill
Luckily for the audience once the plot kicks in the film really picks up and is genuinely funny and entertaining. Lead on by their aggressive Captain Dickson (Cube), Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) begin their first real job as policemen, and of course hilarity soon ensues. Working undercover they have to try and stop a new drug craze sweeping the school, and bust the dealer.

As they soon realise, being cool in school has changed a fair amount since they graduated, and it doesn't help that Jenko unwittingly commits a 'hate crime' while oblivious to the different attitudes of the era. A mix up means the dozy duo have to assume each others fake personality and accompanying skills.

This identity swap paves the way for Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum to showcase their talent for physical comedy, especially when it's combined with the effects of some drugs they are forced to take. Watching a hallucinating Hill attempt to run a relay race and a tripping Tatum participate in band practice is hysterically funny.

Strong support is offered by the slimy student Eric (Franco), with the actor destined for a great career judging by how effortlessly he flits between the character's charming and sinister elements. Also the Schmidt's love interest Molly (Larson) stood out for me, who managed to create a believable and honest character; something that is hard to find in this type of film normally.

Yet for every good physical or verbal gag in the script that the cast excels on, there is a moment that falls flat. One overlong car chase sequence, for example, leaves a bad taste in the mouth as the humour is supposed to come from Jenko and Schmidt hurting innocent members of the public without them, or the movie, acknowledging their behaviour or showing any concern for their well being. It's totally against the way the character have been set up for the audience.
Peter DeLuise and Johnny Depp
A special mention must be given to original stars of the TV series Peter DeLuise, Holly Robinson Peete and Johnny Depp, on their marvellous cameos. Depp in particular plays it brilliantly and portrays his undercover cop character superbly.

Thanks to an entertaining surprise or two the film is overall and enjoyable and funny movie, and even as it hurtles towards its somewhat predictable climax, it did leave me wanting more. I genuinely think that 21 Jump Street is one of the few movies around that genuinely deserves a sequel, the sequel could even surpass this movie if they can adjust the script's hit:miss gag ratio. Everything they need to make a brilliant movie is here and it would be a huge shame if the wonderful Tatum and Hill pairing isn't unleashed for another undercover operation.

21 Jump Street - Red-Band Trailer