21 JUMP STREET is a bunch of fun whether or not you're familiar with the original 1980s TV show that it affectionately spoofs. Judd Apatow regular Jonah Hill slims down to play Schmidt, a former high-school geek turned cop, who's sent back to school under-cover to undercover a drug dealer. Schmidt teams up with former high-school jock, Jenko, played by the not unattractive Channing Tatum showing impressive comedy timing. A lot of the comedy comes from the classic "fish out of water" trope, with Jenko now forced to hang out with the science geeks and Schmidty becoming the popular guy in a post-modern high school full of enviro-geeks. The true joy for this capitalist bastard reviewer is that it's the hippie do-gooders that are really the skanky drug-dealers. And Dave Franco (James' kid brother) does a great job playing the smug little shit who's dealing dope. There's also probably the best movie cameo since ZOMBIELAND.
Goofy, buddy comedies like these, when they work well, can seem effortless. But there's a lot of skill in scripting a story that pokes fun at its source material without ever descending into snide pastiche; that knowingly winks at the viewer but still has heart. Moreover, there's something wonderful about seeing a comedy double-act really hit it off on screen. Tatum and Hill just work really well together, and I can't wait for the sequel.
21 JUMP STREET is on release in the US, UK, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, Israel, Russia and New Zealand. It opens in Sweden on April 20th; in Chile and India on April 26th; in Argentina, Hong Kong, Hungary and Brazil on May 4th; in Germany, Singapore and Spain on May 10th; in Slovenia and Colombia on May 18th; in Norway on May 15th; in Belgium, France and the Netherlands on June 20th and in Portugal on June 28th.