A yawn-worthy early trailer and the remake of another dated TV show - my first impressions of 21 Jump Street weren’t that hot, to be honest. Yes, Jonah Hill is a funny guy (and I mean that in the ha-ha sense), but Channing Tatum in a comedy? That just didn’t seem to fit.
Well, hands up; I’m the first to admit I was wrong: 21 Jump Street is a very funny movie. One of its main strengths is that it really isn’t trying to be a remake of the original crime drama that ran from 1987 to 1991 and starred the rather dishy Johnny Depp. Yes, the premise is the same - two young cops are sent back to school to investigate youth crimes - but instead the writers have put a comedic slant on the undercover story and cleverly brought it into the 21st Century.
Morton Schmidt (Hill) and Greg Jenko (Tatum) are the main officers and they are complete opposites of each other. Schmidt may have smarts but he is not confident in his social skills or physical appearance. Jenko, on the other hand, thinks he is one cool character and believes that if anyone crosses him, all he has to do is throw a punch. And he does.
Their mission sounds simple - learn about a new drug circulating around the school and put an end to it before it spreads. However, where this pair is concerned, simple doesn't come naturally. Cue slapstick teenage antics, car chases, shoot-outs, bad guys, romance, a recurring joke and, of course, a special cameo from Mr Depp. So yes, the formula is something we have seen before, but this time it’s a winner.