When 21 Jump Street
premiered on TV in the 1980s, it offered a cool-kid twist on the cop drama formula. This new-era reinvention keeps the cops, but trades earnest drama for raunchy comedy. At Sagan High, Schmidt (newly scrawny Jonah Hill, fresh off an Oscar nomination for Moneyball
) was a brainy guy with no game, while Jenko (ever-brawny Channing Tatum, funnier than expected) was a popular jock with bad grades. Five years later, they reconnect at police academy, where enemies become friends when they pool their resources, but after their first bust goes bad, the deputy chief (Nick Offerman) ships them off to Jump Street, where their youthful looks lead to an undercover sting operation at Sagan (apparently, no staff members recognise the former students). Due to a mix-up, Schmidt ends up with the theatre kids and Jenko with the science nerds. Through a production of Peter Pan
, Schmidt meets Molly (Brie Larson), who introduces him to her drug dealer boyfriend, Eric (James Franco's deadpan brother, Dave). Now, they just need to track down Eric's supplier to shut the whole operation down. Along the way, Schmidt discovers his inner performer and Jenko his inner geek, but these new personas threaten the case, generating several Superbad
-style laughs, so it's too bad the finale devolves into bloodshed more befitting a John Woo crime caper, though the snappy chemistry between Hill and Tatum papers over some of the holes in the script--along with a foul-mouthed Ice Cube and one rather famous original cast member. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Former high school foes turned rookie cop partners can’t catch a break – until they’re assigned to pose as students and bust a drug ring inside their old alma mater. Living like teenagers again, they slip back into their adolescent selves and risk the case – and their friendship - with hysterically disastrous results! Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube star in this outrageously hilarious action-comedy!