Honestly, I didn’t expect “21 Jump Street” to be as funny as it was. Oh, sure. The trailer playing months before its March 16th release was humorous. But, when it comes to comedies most previews contain all the really funny bits, and all you’re left with is the boring in-between.
Not with this high-octane comedy. Jonah Hill has a gift for comedy, and that was expected. Channing Tatum as his partner in fighting crime was surprisingly funny as well. He played nicely off our perception that he’s a beefy guy with nothing much upstairs. Sorry, Channing. I hate when I have to compliment someone by insulting them.
Morton Schmidt (Hill) and Greg Jenko (Tatum) are high school classmates who later find themselves in the same police academy. Schmidt helps Jenko pass his exams to become a police officer. They eventually find themselves assigned to an undercover unit that works at local high schools to bust drug dealers and the like.
“21 Jump Street” is based on the 1980’s television series starring Johnny Depp. Of course, this version is played strictly for laughs, where the TV show was a dramatic effort.
So, why should I go see this movie? If you’re not already aware of Hill’s talent, this is the time to make some time. “21 Jump Street” is laugh-out-loud funny. Hill’s excellent writing skills and his sad-sack character make this film special. The strong supporting cast, including Ice Cube as Captain Dickson, is another good reason.
Yes, some of the movie’s funny bits were in the trailer. After all, they were trying to get you to buy a ticket. But, this is one of the rare comedies that delivers even more than promised. Grade: B+