2 1/2 Stars
At this point 21 Jump Street morphs into a self-deprecating teenage high-school comedy, complete with a big finale at prom. I liked the scenes dealing with new-age youth culture. Tatum and Hill are only 23, yet they seem befuddled by the social structure and acceptable behavior amongst teenagers today. The performances are surprising, I think Jonah Hill is growing on me. I cannot count myself amongst the legions of fans who hailed Superbad as the greatest comedy in the last five years. Here though, working as both co-screenwriter and lead, he carries the picture through a few potentially dull spots. Tatum brings a lot of energy to the roll, his fearless physical comedy and self mockery is reminiscent of a young Brad Pitt. It remains to be seen if he can break out of the romantic dramas that seem to have fueled his career thus far.
My biggest problem with the film is the sloppy action set-pieces. At times 21 Jump Street seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. The picture cannot decided if it is a teen-comedy or action flick. The result is a couple of poorly executed sequences that seem overly violent and threaten to shift the entire tone of the film on several occasions. I can’t quite recommend the film. Yet, fans of Jonah Hills’s particular style of humor, which includes one-liners and broad, unsophisticated physical comedy will find much to like. A bevy of cameos dot the film.
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum