With 22 Jump Street set to be released on June 13, let’s take a trip to the past and see how 21 Jump Street fared and set us up for this upcoming sequel.
For some kids, high school can be a challenge. There are bad teachers, bullies, peer pressure, and is regarded by most as a daily prison. But for other teenagers, this is the only time of life that’s important. They have friends, popularity, and a last chance of innocence before responsibly consumes them. Could two people from each side become friends? It’s possible, as seen in the latest of television adaptations, 21 Jump Street.
Though I haven’t seen the original series, it apparently revolved around the same concept as this movie. Only, it was taken seriously. The movie, however, is a comedy.
I have a feeling that some fans were outraged when they discovered this. As someone who has never seen the show, I have no opinion. But this movie works mighty well as a comedy. 21 Jump Street is a story that’s not just about going back to high school, it’s about second chances.
Schmidt and Jenko (played by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, respectively) have known each other since high school. Jenko was a jock and Schmidt was a nerd. They had different cliques but both shared the same failure in prom. They missed out on the biggest social event of their adolescent years. Seven years later, they meet up in the police academy where they help each other out.
Sooner than you can say revival, they are transferred to their new unit. Because of their youthful appearance, they are sent back to high school as undercover students.
I think this is every young adult’s dream, even if they hated high school. This is their chance to reclaim the time of being a stupid kid. And these actors define the perfect stupid kid as acted by a young adult.
The story turns the tables on the characters when they forget each other’s false identities. So the jock becomes a nerd and the nerd becomes a jock. Now, they are going to get a taste of each other’s world. They are going to understand that high school is not as easy as they remembered. Seven years can change a lot.
High school movies always cast actors that are too old, and here, both leads are way too old. But it works. While the audience sees them as adults, the world of 21 Jump Street buys it.
We get drug addicts, student-teacher relationships, technology usage, and, of course, a production of Peter-Pan with Jonah Hill as Peter. That scene brings laughter from disaster. If you’re looking for a new great comedy, this is it.
21 Jump Street is up there with Starsky and Hutch. It’s another great example of a dramatic television series becoming a great comedy.
I’ll give this 5 prom limos out of 5. You don’t need to have seen the show, but a surprise appearance will make you want to. 21 Jump Street should be visited by anyone wishing to return to high
Robert T. Nickerson is a film critic. His work can be seen at mastermindfilmproductions.com.