Review: 21 Jump Street

“Prom is fun when you’re going with a gun.” Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street.

Crass, Lewd and Underrated. Welcome back Jonah!

Rating: ***

21 Jump Street was a police procedural TV drama in the eighties that was serious in content. The TV show also brought Johnny Depp to the spotlight. So, when you spot Depp in the film adaptation, don’t freak out. The supporting cast of 21 Jump Street also includes familiar faces like Ice Cube, Peter DeLuise, Ellie Kemper, Jake Johnson and Rob Riggle.

Rob Riggle was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Marine Corps before showing off his funny side to Hollywood. He has since appeared in The Hangover, The Other Guys and Larry Crowne. Riggle’s success lies in his ability to say dialogues in a rude way and make it seem funny. In 21 Jump Street, he does that and more disgusting stuff. So, when you see him trying to pick up a severed body organ with his mouth, don’t go “Ewwww!”

The weakness of 21 Jump Street lies in their protagonists – Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. The bromance is weak and they just don’t make a pair. If they square off, you’ll know that Hill is a better performer as he was trained by Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen. Hill has a repertoire of his own. His filmography includes Superbad, Get Him To The Greek and the recent Moneyball for which he received an Academy Award nomination. So, don’t wonder why Hill is top-billed. He owns it!

The screen adaptation is written by Hill and Michael Bacall who is known for writing similar movies such as Project X and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Bacall is an actor himself and has appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds.

21 Jump Street is over-the-top all the way. The actors know it, the writers know it and even Johnny Depp knows it. Whether it involves dry humping a criminal in a park or blasting a limo with a bomb made in a matter of seconds, 21 Jump Street promises and delivers! 

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