Streets ahead

21 JUMP STREET ( MA15+) ★★★★■ Di­rec­tor: Phil Lord, Chris Miller Stars: Chan­ning Ta­tum, Jonah Hill, Brie Lar­son, Ice Cube, Dave Franco, El­lie Kem­per

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

You’re never too old to never learn a thing

STEP up com­edy fans and stroll proudly down 21 Jump Street.

This is the very kind of dopily clever laugh- fest that Tropic Thun­der al­most was and Pineap­ple Ex­press should have been.

That should be rec­om­men­da­tion enough to drop ev­ery­thing and grab a ticket, es­pe­cially if silli­ness at its most sussed is your thing. And at its most sus­tained as well.

Too many come­dies these days run out of laugh­ing gas too soon. Not this one.

First things first – do not be fooled by the tacky out­ward ap­pear­ance of 21 Jump Street. Dumb come­dies with jokey smarts like those in play here are hard to find but easy to recog­nise.

At the very top of its game, 21 Jump Street hits peaks of amus­ing ab­sur­dity not scaled since the Will Fer­rell mas­ter­piece An­chor­man: The Leg­end of Ron Bur­gundy.

Se­condly, fans of the iconic ’ 80s TV show that bounced Johnny Depp to the big time need to know their 21 Jump Street re­sides a uni­verse away from the hi­lar­i­ous ad­dress vis­ited here.

This is not a re­make, a re­boot or a re­hash in any shape or form. The film­mak­ers have helped them­selves to the same ti­tle and same ridicu­lous premise – adult cops go­ing un­der­cover as teenaged stu­dents at crime- rid­dled high schools – and let the rest be.

All you need to know of the plot – yes, there is one! – is that Chan­ning Ta­tum ( The Vow) and Jonah Hill ( Su­per­bad ) play two rookie po­lice­men with a lot to learn when they hit the class­room once more.

They’ve been sent there by their hy­per­cliched hard- arse of a boss ( Ice Cube, dis­pens­ing laugh- out- loud pro­fan­i­ties at an Olympic level) to crack a sin­is­ter drug ring.

En route to crack­ing the big case, both would- be he­roes find them­selves ex­pe­ri­enc­ing school in a po­lar- op­po­site man­ner to what tran­spired in their youth ( the bril­liant flash­back se­quence which opens the movie sets the grandiosely goofy tone of much to fol­low).

If you haven’t seen the 21 Jump Street trailer or read too much in ad­vance, you will be com­ing to the picture at a dis­tinct ad­van­tage.

The fun­ni­est set- piece se­quences ( in­clud­ing a car chase that fails to ob­serve ev­ery rule in the book) spring the el­e­ment of sur­prise to per­fec­tion.

Even the lamer jokes win laughs be­cause of the mas­sive mo­men­tum achieved by the stronger ma­te­rial in play.

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