’21 Jump Street’ combines hilarious comedy with kick-ass action

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Based on the television show that put Johnny Depp on the map, 21 Jump Street is an action comedy that sees two cops, played by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, turn in their guns and badges for backpacks, as they go undercover in a high school. Why? Well in order to undergo some good ol’ fashion investigation into crime, of course.

If you think this film is going to be some lo-fi desperate remake, then guess again. 21 Jump Street is in fact hilariously funny. It’s one of those films where you actually catch yourself laughing out loud not just a few times, but during the entire way through. We have to put this down to two things: Firstly, whoever thought of putting Jonah Hill next to Channing Tatum was a frigging genius. We didn’t even think the pairing would work. We thought Tatum’s ‘Save The Last Dance’ lame-ness would kill any attempt Jonah Hill had at getting a comedic thing going. Instead what we are given is a comedy duo with a perfect balance of timing and a real onscreen chemistry. Think something along the lines of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys, albeit a little whiter. Nevertheless, these boys work well together. It even went so far as to make us question our perspective of Tatum. Might he not be lame after all?

Rhetorical questions aside, the second reason we think this movie works well is that the humour derived from the film doesn’t only stem from Hill and Tatum’s onscreen chemistry. The script itself is very well written and superbly funny. Part of this humour is that the film gets all reflexive at times – that is, it speaks as if it knows it is a remake of an Eighties television show. It also possesses all those pop culture references and implicit commentaries on what really makes a person cool in this modern age (ie: the ingredients that has made the likes of Glee so popular – and ironically, Glee is even referred to in the film).

Ultimately we discovered that Jonah Hill himself actually co-wrote the thing. Way impressive. Of course, when an actor is reading his own comedic lines, the delivery is bound to be more spot-on than if some other actor is reading them, as proven by Eddie Murphy his Nutty Professor franchise or Mike Myers in the Austin Powers series.

So many great, credible films have come out post-Oscar season, but if you’re not into the serious stuff and want a huge laugh, go see 21 Jump Street.

 

‘21 Jump Street’ is out now in cinemas.

View the full trailer here.