Review – 21 Jump Street

Editor of The Popcorn Junkie and regular reviewer, Cameron Williams, recently interviewed Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum to promote the release of ’21 Jump Street’ and we’ll have the interview up on the site next week.

We have a belief that if someone interviews talent for a film, they should not review the film because they have a promotional interest in the release, and that review can easily be bumped up a few points by the exercise.

It’s a policy we’ll maintain on The Popcorn Junkie, and we’re happy to be joined by guest contributor Sam McCosh who is a film critic that runs the film site An Online Universe, and has reviewed ’21 Jump Street’ for us. We’d like to thank Sam for her kind contribution, if you like Sam’s work visit her site.

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill team up in this classic buddy-cop film which hits the right balance of action and comedy.

Based on the 1980s TV series of the same name, ‘21 Jump Street’ is centred on Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill), who attended the same high school but weren’t exactly friends. Jenko was a stereotypical bully athletic type, while Schmidt had all of the brains and none of the brawn. They meet again at Police College and form an unlikely friendship when each helps the other out with their short-comings.

It turns out neither are exactly A-grade police material, but they get their chance to redeem themselves when they are sent on an undercover assignment. Their job is to go undercover as high school students and bust a drug ring which is selling a dangerous new synthetic drug at a school. They must locate the dealers, find the supplier, and they must not get expelled.

What plays out is a fantastic blend of comedy and action that has a great mix of dick jokes and kick-arse action. Tatum is a comedic revelation is this film. We’ve always known that Hill was funny, but Tatum really hits the right notes with his portrayal of the slightly vague but incredibly athletic and agile Jenko. For a buddy-cop film to be good the chemistry between the two cops has to work and it totally does in this film. The two play off each other really well and their comedic timing is spot on.

The most surprisingly part of this film is how much heart it has. There is a lot to be said about the value of true friendship and giving people second chances which is rare in a film that has an R rating in America. Going back to school is like a second chance for the pair, and they learn some of the life-lessons they missed the first go – always have your friend’s back and never judge a book by it’s cover.

It’s very apparent that there are some talented scriptwriters behind this film – the team includes Jonah Hill himself, and Michael Bacall, who is known for such films as ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’. One of the original television series creators Stephen J. Cannell even has a hand in the film. The dialogue is very sharp and the film is paced extremely well. The special effects let the film down a little bit, as do a few too many vulgar gags – but many will love these and it’s not enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.


’21 Jump Street’ is released 15 March 2012 in Australia and 16 March 2012 in the US.

By Sam McCosh

Please check out Sam’s other work at An Online Universe