At two points in the theater for 21 Jump Street, I had to physically stop myself from laughing or I would go into a spasm. This movie is fast and absurd and I haven’t seen anything this humorous in years. It’d be easy to pass this off as another ‘stupid Jonah Hill’ movie, but it’s simply got too much going on. You need to get in the theater and see it. Today.
BOOM POW ZAP!
The trailer gives away the whole setup in about as much screen time. In high school, Jonah Hill plays a nerd and Channing Tatum plays an idiot jock, which suits him incredibly well here (and not so well in other places). Moments later in police academy they quickly form a weird partnership. Now graduates, they bust some dudes who get off on a technicality and the pair are sent off to the corner with the dunce cap: an abandoned Korean Christian church on 21 Jump Street. Here, they’re assigned to infiltrate a high school to uncover some new drug that’s making the rounds. The setup sounds familiar to a T – especially the bit with the Korean Jesus, right? – but watching the absurd motions these guys bounce through to bust up a motorcycle gang or some pansy-ass kids, means you’ll be caught off-guard far too many times to count.
BAM ZOOM KAPOW!
Having a pair of guys a decade or more out of high school gives everyone the willies and the movie plays to that fact fantastically. Even the once cherubim Hill looks ancient in close-ups because of the lines that are slowly etching into his face, maybe from his recent massive weight loss. Early on, a severe case of idiocy plagues Tatum and roles get reversed: Hill falls in love with a (thankfully, of age) girl who belongs in the Cool Kid Clique while Tatum hangs out after school with a bunch of Bakugan-playing nerds. They each learn lessons about being in the swapped positions and blah blah blah, moral of the story.
BIFF ROCK ZOWIE!
Former Clone High showrunners and directors of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (huh?) serve as our directors here as we blaze through the last days of what would’ve been some ordinary school year. But now with car chases. And drugs. And Channing Tatum looking completely stupid. That’s worth the ticket alone.