Runtime: 109 minutes
Rated: R (for violence, language, alcohol and drug-use, and sexual themes)
Directors: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Writer: Michael Bacall
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
Unlike the 1987 TV drama 21 Jump Street, the movie is not serious—not at all, in fact. It wears its smutty and raunchy double-servings of nastiness smeared on both sleeves and isn’t in the least ready to shy away from these badges of dishonor.
We begin when we meet two still-young-looking newbie cops, “Schmidt” (Jonah Hill) and “Jenko” (Channing Tatum), both of whom struggle with different aspects of the job. Schmidt is the “brains” while Jenko is the meaty “hands-on” jock who has trouble doing such things as reading Miranda Rights.
While at first you may find it difficult to accept that a 21 Jump Street reboot could be turned into anything actually funny, here we are sitting in front of...this. But it’s honestly the funniest movie of the year thus far, one of those films that actually lives up to how good the trailer makes it seem.
We watch Schmidt and Jenko get back into the high school groove, and of course, not fit in. Then their objective is challenged when the new social lives they’re making begin to threaten their ability to work together. And there’s an inevitable romance, too. Popular or unpopular, going back to school will open some wounds.
Ice Cube is “Captain Dickson.” His is one of the laugh-out-loud funniest performances of the entire presentation. In every single scene he’s in, he threatens to outshine both Hill and Tatum put together. There is one other celebrity appearance toward the film’s end. Those who knew the old show will recognize him when they see him.
And although its story doesn’t offer us anything profound, what it does do is provide some outrageously appealing humor that goes far beyond what would have been expected on the merits of the script by itself. And not all of the laughs are drug-focused teen drivel. There is real humor of varying kinds all over the place.