These days it seems as if Hollywood is just rehashing old franchises in the attempt to make a quick buck. What was old is now new, but for the revamped 21 Jump Street starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, the old 80s television franchise starring Johnny Depp now serves as a vehicle for some pretty over the top new-age humour.
Tatum and Hill play Janko and Schmidt, a couple of opposites who end up finding themselves placed in the secret Jump Street unit and are charged with infiltrating a high school drug outbreak of some new potent drug. Utilizing their youthful looks the pair find out that high school may not quite be what it once was.
Other than the name and the premise of an undercover high school unit, this version of 21 Jump Street doesn’t really share anything in common with the previous incarnation.
We all know that Hill is a master of the somewhat awkward and over-the-top raunchy humour, but Tatum gives a break-out performance as Janko.
His comedic timing is so natural that it is hard to believe that this was the same actor from that ‘Dear John’ movie.
As a producer of the film, Hill doesn’t just deliver a cheesy-spoof (like Starsky and Hutch for example), but has developed a story that clearly has a lot of respect for the TV series. This is evident through having Johnny Depp revise his previous role for a brief (though golden) cameo.
There is also a strong supporting cast around the major players in this one. Ice Cube is hilarious and the addition of two SNL alumni (Rob Riggle and Chris Parnell) ensures that the laughs keep coming at a torrid pace.
21 Jump Street is easily one of the funniest movies of the year, and the scene where Tatum and Hill are tripping out on the new synthetic drug is worth admission alone.