CRITIQUED: 21 JUMP STREET

Jonah Hill has been on quite the streak this year. After losing a considerable amount of weight and receiving an Oscar nomination for his part in Moneyball, Hill did what any actor does after they get a gold star from the principal’s office: a raunchy teen cop comedy with car chases, stag parties, drugs, guns, gangs and a musical number, of course! Well, let’s call it a silver star, actually—he didn’t win, after all.

What makes this venture a bit more exciting than, say, Halle Berry in Catwoman is that Jonah Hill has been developing and more or less championing the making of this film for years. For those who didn’t watch the original series, 21 Jump Street was a coming-of-age drama portraying young undercover police officers infiltrating the drug-addled and violent cesspool that was 1980s high-school education. It was the series that launched the careers of Richard Grieco, Holly Robinson Peete, and some dude named Depp. Now I’m certain the movie adaptation will launch the career of Channing Tatum. I know Tatum has had considerable success after making G.I. Joe, Step Up, Fighting and Dear John (and by considerable I mean, “Good God he’s got abs on top of abs!”—the only reason people know his name). But man, did he deliver in this one. I don’t think he even knew he had the kind of comedic timing and self-deprecating persona to pull off the character of Officer Jenko. And that’s where Jonah Hill comes in. He’s such a veteran of these kinds of comedies I’m almost positive he helped his costar tap into his inner funnyman. And the result is a fun, frantic and explosive film that delivers in tons of great ways.

For fans of the vintage series, you’ll be in for a treat watching the 21st century version of 21 Jump Street. Those who will be seeing this with fresher eyes will be pleasantly surprised at the chemistry of the unlikely duo, which makes the film that much better.


21 Jump Street is releasing in Chennai on April 20th, 2012. Advance booking has not begun yet, but you can keep a watch on this site or PVR Cinemas.

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