¨You know what they do to handsome guy like me in prison. It rhymes with grape.¨
I have to admit I knew nothing about the TV series before watching this movie, but I did find it to be one of the best comedies of the year. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were great together in this buddy comedy and the dialogue in this film was extremely funny although very vulgar (as Jonah Hill always is). 21 Jump Street, directed by the duo that brought us Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is a very entertaining and funny film. It had me laughing from the very beginning. I can’t say if it is anything like the series was because this is a buddy comedy and I understand the series was more of a mystery action drama. I guess if you were a fan of the series you might enjoy some of the references and cameos that showed up in the movie, but it isn`t important to know anything about it because 21 Jump Street works on its own as a very funny comedy. The script written by Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim vs. the Word) and Jonah Hill is very slick and funny. There are plenty of smart and funny dialogues throughout the film. I was entertained from the very beginning all the way to the very end so I absolutely recommend this movie.
Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was nothing like Jenko (Channing Tatum) in High School, Schmidt was more of a nerd while Jenko was the popular jock. Despite not being friends in school, they meet at the Police Academy and decide they can help each other out: Schmidt is good with the written test, but lacks the physical strength, while Jenko is in perfect shape but can`t pass the exams. The two help each other out and become best friends before graduating as police officers. Life in uniforms isn’t as full of action as they expected as they are assigned to guard a local park in their bikes. They are finally given the opportunity to go undercover at a local High School where a dangerous synthetic drug is being dealt with. They are only chosen because both still look young so Schmidt and Jenko find themselves back in school. Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) assigns them with their new identities and Schmidt is sent back to his parent’s house along with his new brother Jenko. At school their identities are swapped and Jenko ends up with the nerds studying advanced chemistry while Schmidt has to deal with acting lessons and sports. Somehow Schmidt begins to enjoy life as one of the popular kids in the group, while Jenko discovers what it`s like not to be popular anymore. Schmidt befriends Eric (Dave Franco) right away as he discovers he is one of the dealers, and also falls for Molly (Brie Larson) his acting partner.
The movie works really well thanks to the great chemistry between Tatum and Hill, and thanks to the smart script. I wasn`t really expecting this movie to be as good as it was so I was really surprised with how much I ended up enjoying this film. I left the theater with a big smile on my face. It is one of those movies which you won`t have any trouble going to see it again with other friends who haven’t seen it. The cameos in this film are also pretty great and I enjoyed each one of them. The movie also makes some funny references about itself so it actually acknowledges some of the ridiculousness of its plot which actually makes it even funnier. There is one scene where they are ripping off how movies from the 80`s are being recycled now due to lack of fresh ideas. 21 Jump Street isn`t afraid of laughing at itself and its silly premise, which ends up making the film even better. This is one of the surprise comedies of 2012, and I hope plenty of more come out this year.