CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Comedy
  • 2012

21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

Synopsis

When two cops in their mid twenties (Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum) go undercover as high school students in order to crack a teenage drug ring, hilarity inevitably ensues

About

A complete delight, this is a fish-out-of-water comedy based not on age, but on the shifts in cultural cache that have occurred over the last ten years or so - with plenty of slapstick, swearing and high speed chases thrown in for good measure. The dialogue also does a nice line in pithy put-downs - if you can think of a better three-word description of Jonah Hill's appearance than "cherub-looking motherfucker", get thee to Hollywood.

The film's real revelation however, is Channing Tatum, who what with looking like a live-action Mr Incredible tends to get cast as military types, whether historical (The Eagle), tear-jerking (Dear John) or plain silly (G.I. Joe). Here, he's allowed to send up his looks and the presumption that someone who looks like that must be a himbo, and the result is a joy to watch; he's a nimble physical comic, but equally capable of selling the emotional highs and lows. Despite having the meatier character arc, Jonah Hill (who co-scripted the film with Scott Pilgrim's Michael Bacall) must work hard to keep the double act balanced.

The culture shock faced by these twenty-somethings heading back to high school to find eco-cool, internet-savvy, beautifully-dressed cliques of mature, politically correct and sexually liberated teenagers occupying the peak of the school's social pyramid is a thing of beauty. The film doesn't labour its point that things have changed since the days of jocks vs nerds, but this theme does help tease a sly contemporary relevance from that most-unpromising of starting points: a recycled eighties TV show.

Ultimately, what makes 21 Jump Street so refreshing is that it's relatively free from the dubious whiff of political incorrectness added purely for the sake of convincing idiots they're watching edgy, challenging "banter", which has marred a few comedies of recent years (see: The Hangover). 21 Jump Street proves you can be fresh, funny and filthy without punching down.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Channing Tatum
  • Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
  • Screen Writer: Michael Bacall
  • Photographer: Barry Peterson

In a nutshell

A good-natured must-see for fans of broad, silly comedies with a little something under the surface too. Bright, breezy and brilliant.

by Catherine Bray

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Love Punch

    The Love Punch

    A divorced couple (Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson) plot to recover the retirement fund that was swindled away from them in Joel Hopkins romantic caper

  • Film4 Catch Me Daddy

    Catch Me Daddy

    Sameena Jabeen Ahmed stars as a girl on the run from her family with her drifter boyfriend in Daniel Wolfe's thriller

Rent now on Film4od

Available to rent for £2.99

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share