2012’s version of 21 JUMP STREET is an enjoyable action comedy where two high school rivals become unwilling police partners. Because of their supposed young appearance, the pair of police rookies become part of an undercover mission to infiltrate drug distribution during the last month of high school, posing as high school students. Actor Jonah Hill is pretty good here playing a likable nerd, as opposed to actor Channing Tatum, who plays the far less likable former high school bully and far tougher of the two rookie cops.
Strangely, you sometimes seem to have a little more empathy for some of the targets of their law enforcement actions than for the rookie cops themselves, which seems like a long tradition in many Hollywood film scripts compared to TV, where TV scripts seem to be written far more sympathetic to the roles of police in aiding victims of crime. In one scene for example, as park bicycle police the two confront a group of bikers because one might be smoking a joint in a public park. While certainly not really acceptable to be using drugs in a public park, the group of bikers weren’t bothering anyone. However, it sets up a rival situation between the police and this group of bikers.
You have to complement Jonah Hill for being partly responsible for this enjoyable enough comedy script, and although he attempted to change his appearance for this script, you can still see that he well plays the role of the funny fat Jewish kid really well. At just 28, Jonah Hill continues to be one of the best young comic actors out there. He sort of breaks the mold as not really being a handsome leading man type, but being a sort of funny everyman that you end up cheering for and want to see succeed. It is the strengths of Jonah Hill that helped to make this film a success, like his many other hit films.
21 JUMP STREET has a few raunchy laughs that make it a little outside of a family comedy film. But, you can probably expect a toned down and censored version to someday play on the cable networks like TBS. This film will be marketed for years because it’s good enough to have that sort of life. Critics over at Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a blazing 85% approval and audiences a slightly higher 87% approval.
Maybe not the very best comedy of all time, but certainly a good film with many funny moments. More than worthwhile.
The Bottom Line: A well written police comedy starring the young Jonah Hill, who always seems like box office gold in every project. ***(Three Stars, Good. Consider this DVD for your film library. Along with SUPERBAD and other Jonah Hill films, this is another good comedy).