21 Jump Street (2012)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun twist to the TV series

A bit slow to get going and some slow points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  21 Jump Street

Studio:  Relativity Media

Genre(s):  Comedy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  March 12, 2012 (Premiere)/March 16, 2012 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


This is how they roll!

Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was a geek in school and tormented by bullies like Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum).  Meeting up again at the police academy, Schmidt and Jenko put their past behind them and become fast friends…but not the best cops.  Schmidt and Jenko are bumped down to a small department of the Louisiana Police called 21 Jump Street.  Going undercover, Schmidt and Jenko are going back to high school to uncover to find the source of killer drugs, and they are about to find that high school is a lot different than when they were there.

Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, 21 Jump Street is an action-comedy.  The movie adapts the TV series which aired from 1987 to 1991.  The movie received positive reviews and a strong box office return.

I was really surprised by 21 Jump Street.  I didn’t watch the series (I thought it was kind of stupid concept at the time…and I was eleven) and didn’t have much hope for the movie which has a star that irritates me (Jonah Hill) and a star that I’m indifferent to (Channing Tatum).  Instead of being a boring movie, I found the movie a lot of fun.


If this is what drugs does to you, sign me up!

The story for the movie looks at the ridiculous nature of the series.  It still has a lot of action and shootouts but it plays with the tired formulas even in those series while flipping the high school comedy by having the geek be the popular one instead of the jock.  In doing that, the police procedure comedy is refreshed and the series is a lot of fun.

Hill and Tatum work great together.  I particularly like the dim witted Tatum who despite “getting” some of his classes by the end of the movie still comes off as an idiot.  I wish there had been more Nick Offerman in the movie and Ice Cube feels a bit underused as the captain.  The supporting cast is rather generic with Dave Franco as the “cool kid” and Brie Larson as “the perfect girl”.  I’m not a huge fan of Rob Riggle who plays the PE teacher, and I wish Ellie Kemper had a bigger role.  The original cast of the TV series Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, and Holly Robinson make appearances in the movie.


God, this show sucked…

The TV series is shot in and around New Orleans.  It gives the movie a bit of a different feel than the standard Los Angeles movie.  The movie did a lot to make it “everytown” but the movie really feels like it is set in Louisiana.

21 Jump Street was a surprisingly fun film. The movie takes a different approach to the remake/adaptation and for this film (and franchise) it seems to work when many other TV remakes have failed.  It is a bit slow to get going and I think there are a few lulls in the middle, but overall it is a fun ride.  21 Jump Street was followed by 22 Jump Street in 2014.

Related Links:

22 Jump Street (2014)

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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