After botching a drug bust, detectives Jenko and Schmidt are sent back to high school in order to bust a new synthetic drug operation. They must adapt to the new ways of high school, having been out for nearly seven years. The pair is sent back to classes, where they must deal with new cliques and changing social circles. Their mission is simple, find the dealers and infiltrate the suppliers.
To be honest, when first looking into this movie, I believed that it was going to be a flop. It seemed too much like every other comedy movie Jonah Hill had been in previously; high cchool partying, explicit jokes and crude comedy. Jonah Hill is known for that, throw in Channing Tatum and it appears on the surface as though you have a very stereotypical comedy.
I was completely wrong in that presumption. 21 Jump Street is fantastic at capturing the modern high school life. Different cliques, things that used to be considered nerdy are now cool. Those who were once popular are now just considered ignorant jocks. 21 Jump Street took the conventional cast idea; the popular jock teamed with the awkward nerd and threw it for a loop. Hill's Schmidt was the one who got accepted into the cool crowd, while it was Tatum's Jenko that was left to hang with the science crowd. It provided laughs as they both learned each others former world. Both actors did a fantastic job in their roles.
It was Dave Franco, younger brother of James Franco who commanded his screen time with a presence that was undeniable. He has this slick on screen swagger, a very confident comedic performance from him. There are very few people who could have pulled off the role like he did. Dave Franco is just as funny and cool on screen as his older brother James.
Where the film seemed to lack was storyline, it seemed predictable. It is a comedy, and that sometimes can mean it comes with the predictability factor. It sucks to say that about an extremely well-acted and explosive action comedy, but it is true. With a little more development to the plot, a little less comedic set-up and more impromptu twists, 21 Jump Street could have been a much better film in both the comedic and action categories.
That being said, I really do want to give it all the praise I can. I found myself heartily laughing, and mustering up all the cheer I could find while rooting for these two misfit characters. Really in the end from a comedy that is all you can hope for. Situations and characters that are worth cheering for, worth feeling invested in is what make a good comedy.
Throwing back to the 80s series of the same name was inevitable; most of them were done right. From the mess up of the address to the cameos from Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise, this film added its own brand of modern flare and still paid homage to the material it was derived from.
All in all, despite the minor flaws 21 Jump Street is a fantastic movie, full of solid laughs and well crafted comedy. I recommend seeing this movie; it will probably leave you laughing out loud when it is over. Check it out if you haven't already. Certainly worth a viewing, if not more than one.