I remember watching 21 Jump Street as a youngster in the 1980's. I loved it when it was on network television. The premise: a bunch of young looking 20 something detectives pose as high school students as they attempt to curb the criminal activity that is perpetrated by high school students. This show became a career launching pad for many of the principle characters, including the venerable and legendary Johnny Depp. However, the show has become pretty dated, and I doubt that I could watch it with the same enthusiasm now that I'm in my thirties. And when I heard that they were remaking this television show for the big screen, I nearly gagged. But after seeing the movie remake with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, I have to say that I am so happy that I went against my instincts and saw this film. It is the funniest movie that I have seen in a long time. I actually laughed out loud while watching this movie, and it has been a long time since I have laughed out loud during any film.
The plot of the movie is not difficult to follow. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are enemies in high school; with Channing Tatum being the popular high school jock(Jenko), while Jonah Hill is the socially awkward and geeky Eminem look-a-like(Schmidt). A few years after they graduate from high school, they enroll in the police academy. While at the academy, they discover that Schmidt is able to master the academic part of the training and Jenko is able to master the physical aspect of the police training. Jenko and Schmidt soon realize that if they are to make it past their respective exams, they are going to have to help one another. Their decision to cooperate with each other leads to a special friendship, and after graduating from the academy they are able to secure assignments in the same police unit.
Jenko and Schmidt prove to be inept as police officers in the bike unit, but they are given a second chance as undercover police officers. Their mission: infiltrate a drug operation in a high school that is run by a smarmy high school senior played by David Franco(James Franco's brother). Here the roles of Jenk and Schmidt are reversed. It is Jenko who is the social outcast while Schmidt is the cool insider. Turns out that in the year 2012 it is okay to be openly gay, carry your backpack using both straps, openly campaign for the preservation of the environment, and do well in school-which are all of the traits that Jenko used to hate about Schmidt. While they are trying to infiltrate the drug operation, Schmidt's popularity causes a rift in their friendship; and as their relationship collapses, so does their work as undercover officers. Eventually their antagonistic supervisor(played by Ice Cube!!!) has to fire them, and all hope seems to be lost for the two former friends. It does not take long for Jenko and Schmidt to become friends again; and with their friendship repaired they are able to prove their worth as officers through their special form of vigilantism.
As I've said before, Channing Tatum is really funny in this film. Jonah Hill and Ice Cube also deliver some really good liners as well. Although a remake, the film is original in its execution of the conventional screenplay. I highly recommend this film. And I have to say that if you choose to see this movie, you will be greeted with a really nice surprise near the end.