Jonah Hill as Schmidt
Channing Tatum as Jenko
Brie Larson as Molly
Ice Cube as Captain Dickson
Remember high school? And the peculiar classmate hierarchy? Ever wondered if, given the generational changes in the definition of “coolness,” your role there would be any different?
Schmidt and Jenko get a chance to find out. Based on the 1980s teen show (that I never saw), 21 Jump Street shows us a high school nerd (Schmidt) and cool kid (Jenko) who become police officers several years later and are partnered together. After royally botching their first bust, they are put in an undercover narcotics unit and out of the way. Their first case is to infiltrate a high school so as to shut down the dealing of a deadly new drug.
But things have changed since Schmidt and Jenko left school. So much that now the nerd is the cool kid and the cool kid is the nerd.
Comedies aren’t easy to review because humor factor is subjective. All I can say is that the jokes are clever. This spin on changing youth culture is a hilarious one. Jonah Hill’s great comedic timing doesn’t hurt at all. Channing Tatum isn’t as good an actor but he’s at least serviceable.
Although Schmidt and Jenko are under strict orders not to screw any students or get them juiced, they do it anyway. They even hand out weed at their party even though they’re NARCs. Seems they never really matured.
Schmidt has a romance with a girl named Molly. Jenko doesn’t any underage dates, though. He’s a nerd, remember?
Consequently, Schmidt is distracted from his job. It’s just too great to be cool! Jenko is the opposite. He makes headway quick simply because he wants this case to be over in a hurry.
There’s a colorful cast of supporting characters including a teacher and obviously future pedophilia convict, a super-disciplinarian leader of the NARC squad, and Schmidt’s overprotective parents.
21 Jump Street is an exceptionally funny movie. I highly recommend it.
Overall: 8 out of 10