Funny and affectionate cop show throwback
21 Jump Street
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably asked yourself a few times how Channing Tatum has become one of the world’s biggest cinema heart throbs.
Quite apart from the fact he has a face like a parboiled new potato (his eyes are tiny), he has always seemed wooden and stodgy in his heart throbbish roles. And his movies are kind of lame. Two words: The Vow.
Well, the purpose of Channing Tatum has been revealed to me finally in the form of shock- comedy 21 Jump Street.
Apparently, Tatum exists to trick us into expecting lessthan- zero talent and then delivering a swift Muay Thai chop to the funny-bone with some of the finest comic timing since someone put question marks on Anchorman’s teleprompter. Who knew he had it in him?
Co-written by and starring comedic wunderkind Jonah Hill, 21 Jump Street is an irreverent yet affectionate take on the 80s super-moral teen cop-procedural television show of the same name. It’s also so much fun that I can guarantee if you like the kind of idiot laughs in films like Superbad, Anchorman or Zoolander, you will love this film.
And if you adored the 80s television show and are reluctant to see it lambasted, fear not, because Hill and cowriter Michael Bacall clearly have a great deal of affection and time for the show and 80s teen film tropes in general.
A bungled drug bust lands former high school foes-turned cop school buddies on the Jump Street programme – where ‘‘Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus looking’’ adult cops get sent back to high school undercover.
But things have changed since alpha jock Jenko (Tatum) and dweeb Schmidt (Hill) were in class. As the eco- friendly, geek- chic Schmidt’s rise to the top of the popularity ladder tests the unlikely duo’s bromance to its limits, can they pull it together enough to bust a high school drug ring, save the girl, their jobs, and make it to the prom on time?
OK, so the bones of the story are pretty much cookiecutter buddy flick, but the jokes are fresh, fast and rid-
Jonah Hill and Tatum crack jokes and heads as two cops sent undercover at a high school to bust a drug ring in 21 Jump Street. iculous – the drug scene alone will have you snorting your Pepsi Max and popcorn combo out your nose – and Hill’s keen observations on how modern high school hierarchies have changed since Molly Ringwald was in charge are hilariously charming.
With some excellent cameos and supporting cast – Ice Cube as snarling Captain Dickson is genius – top notch dick-and-fart type jokes and Tatum pushing out all the stops to show he’s more than (not even a) pretty face, 21 Jump Street is my a number one comedy pick for the year so far.
Starring Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube. Screenplay by Michael Bacall, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Millar. 109 minutes, R16. Showing at Reading Cinemas Porirua. Reviewed by KYLIE KLEINNIXON