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21 Jump Street

A little behind the times due to being so busy, but we finally made the time for a cinema visit and squeezed in the 2011 update of an old TV series:

21 Jump Street (2012)

“When did I get stabbed? That’s awesome!”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Two high school opposites find themselves on the same undercover squad when they join the police… and get sent back to high school

See it if you like: no-brainer, low-brow, side-aching silliness

Jonah Hill had a hand in writing this reworking of the 80’s TV series as well as starring as Schmidt, the fat (but smart) loser. Channing Tatum is square-jawed and knuckle-dragging as his exact opposite, the popular jock who can’t scrape the grades to pass his tests.

The characters and set-up are breezed through very quickly indeed at the start of the film, which is welcome given the fact that it’s hardly original. From high school rivals to police academy buddies in less than five minutes. With a line in humour similar to that found in Hot Tub Time Machine it similarly comes very clean about its lack of originality in a speech by the guys’ captain as the plot is being pushed along.

Kicked from the front line into undercover work, they find themselves thrown back into high school to try and uncover a drugs plot. Throw in a bit of confusion which results in Hill’s Schmidt becoming Mr popular while beefcake Jenko ends up being the nerd, and the laughs genuinely roll in.

It’s not high level humour and it doesn’t ever pretend to be. It’s fairly predictable, but it is also marvellously silly. The two actors work well together and there are some decent little twists in the story to keep you entertained waiting for the next gag or use of the word “fuck”.

There is absolutely nothing new in 21 Jump Street but it doesn’t matter. It’s funny and entertaining. The theatre was rocking with laughter and we left with big smiles on our faces. What more could you want from a comedy?

Oh, it also has a nice little surprise at the end. See if you can avoid any spoilers before you see it!

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