Directors: Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Brie Larson, Dave Franco, Ice Cube, Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Jake Johnson, Nick Offerman, Chris Parnell, DeRay Davis
Hollywood’s long, painful history of unsuccessfully adapting cop TV shows into feature films cast a dark, seemingly impenetrable shadow over the Jonah Hill-steered 21 Jump Street reboot—think of flops like Car 54, Where Are You?, Dragnet, and Taxi. But guess what none of those flicks had? The comedic wizardry of babe-melting beefcake Channing Tatum. Yeah, writing that statement felt as weird as it does for you to read it, trust us.
But that’s the truth. Playing the more intelligent of the film’s two young cops turned undercover high school students, Jonah Hill scores, but 21 Jump Street’s biggest secret weapon is your boy C-Tates, whose turn as the Hill’s dim-witted counterpart is nothing short of a revelation. The same goes for screenwriter Michael Bacall’s script, which dexterously balances outrageous humor with character development.
And let’s not forget directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, whose only previous big-screen credit was the memorable animated pic Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Under their energetic control, 21 Jump Street has a loopy energy throughout, most evident in a drug trip sequence that’s spit-your-drink funny.