DVD Review: 21 Jump Street

Lots of TV shows from the ’70s and ’80s have been made into films. So a 21 Jump Street was inevitable. So why not put it in the hands of Jonah Hill and have it be a star vehicle for him and Channing Tatum.

The film opens with Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) in high school where they hate each other. Cut to seven years later at the police academy where they meet again. They help each other graduate the academy and become best friends in the process. After they screw up their first assignment they are sent over to Jump Street to be undercover cops in high school. Here Ice Cube plays Captain Dickson, their angry boss. At the school they are going to a new synthetic drug has become all the rage and it’s up to them to find out who is behind it. Sounds like a typical episode of the TV show which works well for the film.

On their first day of school they screw up their secret identities and end up in the classes the other was supposed to be in. This forces each of them to overcome things that they weren’t good at when they were in high school. Schmidt make friends with the cool kids led by Eric (Dave Franco) who ends up being the lead drug dealer. Now all they have to do is find out who the kingpin of the whole thing is. That is if they can avoid getting expelled first.

21 Jump Street is a solidly funny comedy, the jokes comes fast and hard and while not all of them hit, most of them do. Shockingly, Tatum is hilarious in this film. The scene where they both have to do the drug to prove they’re cool is a laugh riot. Tatum actually has some of the funnier lines. None of them can be properly quoted here so you’ll have to take my word for it or see it for yourself.

On top of Hill and Tatum, who are both in top form, there are a lot of other great actors shining here. Rob Riggle plays the school coach, Chris Parnell plays the acting teacher and Ellie Kemper is the science teacher. All of them have fantastic moments here. And there are a couple great cameos in the film, which I won’t spoil.

For me the biggest surprise here was Tatum. With his performance here and in Magic Mike I think I don’t hate him anymore, which is something I never thought I’d say. But I never thought I’d like Mark Wahlberg and Leonardo DiCaprio, but I do. So there you go.

21 Jump Street was a solidly fun and entertaining film. It never really captures the feel of the TV show, but it manages to hold its own. Tatum and Hill have great chemistry together and make a superb team.

21 Jump Street is presented in a 2.40:1 widescreen format and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. This is a fine looking film. The transfer is good and the sound is well mixed.

Deleted Scenes: (8 min.) These are more extended than deleted. There is some funny stuff here. Back to School: (7 min.) your typical making of. Kind of interesting and fun. Commentary: A very entertaining commentary. The directors provide some good insight into the film while Tatum and Hill keep the vibe lively and crack lots of jokes. You also get a digital copy of the film.

When I first heard they were making a 21 Jump Street movie I thought it was a really bad idea. Then when it was released in theaters I was shocked to hear it actually getting some good reviews. Finally getting to see it myself I can say that it is a solidly okay film. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. You’re sure to laugh, but its replay value will depend on how funny you think it is.

Columbia Pictures presents 21 Jump Street. Written by Michael Bacall. Story by Michael Bacall & Jonah Hill. Directed by: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller. Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle and Ice Cube. Running time: 110 min. Rating: Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence. Released: June, 26 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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