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Movie Review: ‘80s show ’21 Jump Street’ makes film debut

Christina Collins Burton
Editor in Chief

An update of the 1980s television show of the same name, “21 Jump Street,” comes a surprisingly entertaining comedy that strays from the stereotypical slapstick film.

The duo Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill created great situational comedy and plenty of laughs for the audience to enjoy.

Instead of stealing the original story of a cop being taken off the street for a private investigation team, the story begins with Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) in high school.

Jenko, a popular but stupid student, picks on and looks down on Schmidt who is the stereotypical geek.

After high school the two go into the police academy together and hit the streets hoping to become the heroes they see in action movies.

However, once on the job the duo make a mistake that costs the department an arrest.

Jenko and Schmidt are then sent to Jump Street to go undercover as students at a local high school. The mission is to bring down a new drug ring before it spreads to other schools.

Now they are forced to relive high school seven years later, and their world of jock hierarchy is turned upside down when they find out that the activist students run the school and the bullies are considered the losers.

Going solely off the trailer, “21 Jump Street” seems like an immature series of the same repeated comedy we have seen from Hill in the past.

However, the quality of his performance in this movie proves how much he has grown as an actor.

Instead of falling on the crutch of fat stoner jokes, Hill shows the audience a wide range of material that helps the audience take him seriously as a comedian.

Meanwhile, Tatum breaks away from the action and heart-throb roles he has played in the past.

It came as a shock that he was able to get so many laughs in the movie by not focusing solely on being the dim-witted bully.

The two actors work well with each other and keep the audience laughing.

From the start of the film it is made obvious that the movie will not be taking anything too seriously and is purely meant to entertain.

There are no awkward lines that result in nervous laughter and the dialogue is well-written. At no point did it seem as if the writers were griping for information or material to keep the plot moving.

Even fans of the original series will be treated to the same style of humor as characters exchange dated and themed lines that got giggles when they were first heard.

Plus, anyone who has seen the original series will get a special treat with memorable faces being sprinkled throughout the film.

Overall the movie delivered an easy to believe plotline that never slipped or strayed from its main story. This is definitely a film that will be enjoyed by those familiar with the series and newcomers alike.

Christina Collins Burton can be reached at christina.burton@laverne.edu.

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