Twenty-five years ago, Johnny Depp was catapulted from unknown actor to teen-heartthrob when he landed a role on 21 Jump Street. Now, he takes on a cameo role in the 2012 comedic adaptation which borders heavily on parody – Not that parody is a bad thing.
Jonah Hill (Superbad, Knocked Up) and Channing Tatum (Step Up, The Vow) star as a couple of misfit cops, who due to their youthful looks are resigned to a high school undercover investigation.
The chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum is solid and their comedic timing is on point. Tatum (surprisingly) kept up with Hill every step of the way. In fact, everyone seemed well cast, particularly Brie Larson, who delivered a very natural performance that could have been construed as corny in the wrong hands.
The success of this movie lies in the mere celebration of its ridiculousness. Michael Bacall’s script balances the parody of cop/action genre clichés with a great deal of original humor.
Let’s not forget the directors. With only the animated feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs under their belt, Phil Lord and Chris Miller show they can successfully handle live action.
Remarkably, this unexpected comedy finds balance in every aspect of production. From the humor to the action, and even the minute level of emotional drama, you just can’t help being sucked into this one.
Bottom Line: Expect the unexpected and enjoy the plentiful laughs this movie serves.
Runtime: 109 minutes