21 Jump Street

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller offer a singular comedic vision in the motion picture parody of the deservedly lampooned '80s undercover cop series 21 Jump Street, which starred Johnny Depp and Richard Grieco, both of whom make cameos in the last reel. The film, which stars uber-schlub Jonah Hill and pretty boy du jour Channing Tatum, is a gutbucket laugh riot of genuinely clever pop culture references, unceasing penis jokes, and the kind of profanity and vulgarity that evokes guffaws because it's so excessive. Hill and Tatum play recent police academy graduates who are pulled from park patrol to infiltrate a high school drug operation. (The ridiculousnes of the premise has not diminished over the years.) In a fresh turn of a familiar storyline, the new world of high school clique-dom is ruled by geeks and Hill's character is suddenly the cool one and the former jock (Tatum) has to play "smart" with the chemistry club to crack the case. (I won't write that hilarity ensues but it does.) Ice Cube delivers several moments of scowlingly unhinged obscenity as the undercover detail's captain, and Dave Franco (younger brother of James Franco) is a standout as a vegan dope dealer. I wouldn't call 21 Jump Street a bromance but it's probably the gayest straight action film currently playing in the theaters.


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