Posted July 4, 2012 by Alex Moss Editor in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

21 Jump Street DVD


You might be forgiven for thinking that mining the ’80s for ideas has gone too far, but when a big screen remake of a little TV show acknowledges just that, you know you’re in for some fun.

You might be forgiven for thinking that mining the ’80s for ideas has gone too far, but when a big screen remake of
a little TV show acknowledges just that, you know you’re in for some fun.
And
that’s exactly what this pairing of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill
provides.

The duo play
newly-promoted police officers, bored with the lack of excitement that they’d
been hoping for on the job. When a drugs bust goes awry, the pair find
themselves thrust into an undercover programme run by
a stereotypical angry, black captain (Ice Cube) called 21 Jump Street. Their task, to infiltrate a drugs
ring running out of a local high school should be plain sailing, but it soon becomes apparent that these two have still got a lot to
learn.

Sensibly
deciding to update a show chiefly known really
for starring a young Johnny Depp, directors
Phil Lord and Chris Miller have made good use of Hill and Michael Bacall’s script
to tread a line between action and comedy in the vein of Brit hit Hot
Fuzz
. While it might
not share that film’s knowing sense of parody or gag rate – a freeway explosion
gag, though eventually good, takes a long time to build – it does exactly what it’s meant to; make you
laugh.

That it succeeds is down mainly to the inspired pairing of Hill and
Tatum. The former may
have been here before in Superbad and
the like but the latter, hardly known for his comic timing, is terrific as the
dumb but popular jock who discovers that years later High School treats brains with a
little more respect. While
he begins advanced chemistry, much to the delight of his amorous teacher Ms
Griggs (The Office’s Ellie
Kemper)
Hill gets in with the popular crowd, catches the eye of Brie Larson’s drama student and finds himself in the leading role, somehow, for the school’s production
of Peter Pan.

So, sandwiched
in between bouts of action with the pair on cop-duty (and one great chase with
Hill dressed all in sparkling green) we get a Mean
Girls
-style plot-line which sees the duo come to realise what they had at High School and what it can still teach
them.

Of course none
of it should really work, and it’s fair to say that come the rather gun-heavy
finale, not all of it has, but for the main, 21 Jump Street has
plenty of laughs to keep those niggles at bay. A bad drug trip, a truly gross
toilet scene and some neat interplay between the leads mean that whenever Hill and Tatum are on screen together the whole thing gels
rather well. Add in a
not-that-surprising-but-fun celebrity cameo late on and you’ve got a film that leaves many other buddy movies (Cop Out?) streets
behind.

With a decent
gag rate and some knowing humour, 21
Jump Street
gets as fast and
trigger happy with the jokes as it does with the bullets. Jump on.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com