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Hollywood Product: 21 Jump Street

Hill and Tatum are comedic gold in this TV show remake



GENRE: Action comedy

THE PITCH: High school geek Shmidt (Jonah Hill) and his bully, all-around jock Jenko (Channing Tatum), become best buds at the Metro City Police Academy, but their odd coupling doesn't translate well on the streets as cops. After bumbling an arrest, the two are shipped to the resurrected program "21 Jump Street" to infiltrate and stop a new drug HFS (Holy Fucking Shit) from spreading through the Metro City schools.

MONEY SHOT: In hot pursuit of the supplier, Jenko and Shmidt engage in a three limo chase through the streets of Metro City during the high school prom, in one limo the supplier, in another the gang members who were just taken, and, finally, the two cops. Watching three stretch vehicles barrel through traffic including what happens inside each is pretty hilarious. After taking HFS, there are five phases to the drug. Watching anyone (including undercover cops) go through each one is laugh-out-loud funny.

BEST LINE: Fresh out of the academy, Jeko and Shmidt are traffic cops on bikes. Jenko, who's frustrated and desperate for a little action, whines, "I thought there'd be more car chases and less homeless people doo-dooing everywhere." Popular back in his day but now considered a social pariah, Jenko explains why today's high school social scene is so messed up, "'Glee' - Fuck you, 'Glee'!"

CUBISM: Head of the 21 Jump Street, Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) explains why stopping HFS in the schools is so important. After showing a YouTube video of a student taking the drug and a report of police file of his death he explains, "This kid is white so people automatically give a shit."

SKIN FACTOR: Shmidt, undercover as Doug McQuaid, shows his new friends around his family's home. When he opens the door to his parent's room, he walks in on a very bizarre threesome. There's another scene near the finale where a flacid piece of genitalia is seen but to explain what it is would be a definite spoiler. Lets just say that men will cringe at the unsightly moment.

DID HE SAY MCQUAID? Yes, the reoccurring badass brothers made famous on the original series by Johnny Depp and Peter Deluise are back. But don't expect the rough-and-tumble troublemakers of the '80s - they'd never make it in today's eco-friendly, millennials environment.

JUMPSTREET 21 YEARS LATER: So what happens after you graduate from Jumpstreet? According to his remake you get crappy jobs. Judy Hoffs, who lasted through the entire five season run of the original series, now has a desk job and sports a uniform. John Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise) are still undercover, deep undercover. Their cameo appearances makes for a memorable, and funny climatic final scene. Officer Ioki (Dustin Nguyen) is the only member of the original cast of undercover cops that doesn't make a personal cameo, but if you look carefully (on TV) you'll see him right in the heart of the action. Trivia time people: Before Captain Fuller (Steven Williams) took over the Jumpstreet program in the original series, it was run by Richard Jenko (Frederic Forrest) for five episodes. Tatum's character bears his name.

BOTTOM LINE: Writer Michael Bacall can add another screenplay to his win column. Having penned Scott Pilgram vs the World, and most recently Project X, 21 Jumpstreet's geeky banter and various "oh shit" moments fits snuggly within his comfort zone. I was surprised to see the McQuaids brought back to life by executive producers Hill and Tatum, who happen make a delightful oddball pairing. From the jump, the chemistry between the two actors as rookie cops and later undercover brothers is effortless comedic gold. Watching the two weave through the campy, over-the-top misadventure through today's high school social strata is sheer gratuitous fun. 21 Jump Street is an outrageous homage to the original filled with snark, crass humor, and laugh-out-loud shock moments that doesn't miss a beat and will have you clamouring for more laughs.

Related Film

21 Jump Street

Official Site:

Director: Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Writer: Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill

Producer: Neal H. Moritz and Stephen J. Cannell

Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle and Ice Cube

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