21 Jump Street (2012)

PHIL LORD, CHRISTOPHER MILLER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 2012.  Columbia Pictures, , Relativity Media, Original Film, Stephen J. Cannell Productions.  Story by , , Screenplay by Michael Bacall, based on the television series created by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by . Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

The popular eighties television series has been given the Brady Bunch Movie treatment in this surprisingly fun spoof. Jonah Hill and make a pleasing on-screen buddy team as former high school enemies who become best friends in police academy, where one’s brawn combines beautifully with the other’s brains. Upon graduation they find themselves working a lame bicycle beat in the park until a great opportunity comes up: they are assigned to an undercover division to go into a high school and find out the source of a drug problem.

What gets in the way of their success, other than the fact that Inspector Clouseau is a better police officer than these guys are on their good days, is that their haunted memories of high school become prevalent while on the job and they spend more time making up for the past than actually completing their assignment. There are a few good fish out of water jokes (Tatum is disappointed that making fun of freaks and geeks is no longer the cool guy’s work, and can’t believe that the environmentally conscious kids are now the cool ones), some fun action sequences and cameos from the show’s original cast. The whole thing is a vile, sorry mess (aimed at a childish sensibility but full of far too much potty language to actually be appropriate for them), and yet you’ll have a good time.

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