21 Jump Street was the cheesy 1989 action drama TV series that kick-started Johnny Depp’s career. Given that people weren’t exactly knocking down the doors of Hollywood for a remake, it’s surprising to find that this movie spin-off is an impressive reinvention that keeps its viewers engaged. The film follows two bumbling cops as they create an unlikely friendship despite their differences. After proving their ineptitude, they are reassigned to Jump Street to begin their undercover project of busting a drugs ring in a high school.
Despite a few cheap gags, the majority of this film is genuinely entertaining. Jonah Hill’s comic timing is spot on as always, but Channing Tatum is an unexpected revelation as he joins Hill as the other half of this unlikely comedy duo. Michael Bacall‘s screenplay (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) pokes fun at Hollywood for churning out unnecessary remakes by throwing in several self-depreciating jokes. After some dodgy remakes of other 80s shows (The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team), this film is a welcome change and with some intelligent surprises up its sleeve, actually makes for satisfying and lively viewing.
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