Let’s get this straight, this film is an adaptation of a television show. Judging by the sheer number of reviews to drop the “remake”-bomb, it would seem there’s a shocking number of critics who can’t discern a difference between the two media. Which might explain why flicks that are basically TV seem to be increasingly popular not only with audiences but with those knowledgeable, wise folk. Really, really knowledgable. Pahahah, sorry.
That digression out of the way, 21 Jump Street is the (successful) result of the marriage between the Lord/Miller brand of humour and Jonah Hill’s comedic style. Coming in as a fan of both (respectively the short-lived animated series Clone High and, well, Hill’s achievements are numerous at this point), I was thrilled by the wacky, fourth-wall-breaking*, punchline-setup-punchline , risky madness. Tatum fits in nicely as the once-popular kid dismayed at changing trends when sent undercover into a High School. Hill, of course, is the one met with popularity.
It’s worth mentioning that the jokes don’t always land in some of the action scenes, though that’s not to say the film abandons comedy for action set-pieces. It is never, ever straight-faced, and it’s all the better for it. Rather, what strikes this viewer is that the comic hit-rate is elsewhere absurdly high. Gag after gag lands smoothly, and not only that. You’re taken into laugh-out-loud-land and held there forcefully, with those few scenes your only break.
Maybe Jump Street isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Those hoping for something conventional might be taken aback by the oft-anarchic tomfoolery, but others will appreciate a movie that is moment-to-moment stupid fun, silly, preposterous, immature/dirty/gross-out, witty, clever and tripping major ballsacks.
*Yes, introducing the premise Nick Offerman’s Deputy Chief rants in great length at the rebooting of a “programme” from the 80s.