Note: I don’t remember watching the TV series “21 Jump Street”, so this review is based on the movie.
The year is 2007. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) is a smart, yet unpopular, Eminem wannabe who has no luck with the ladies (his attempt to score a date for the prom fails miserably). Jenko (Channing Tatum) is the opposite, a dumb popular jock. Both have typical high school angst (bad grades, no prom dates, etc).
Fast forward to 2012. Schmidt and Jenko are both in the police academy. Schmidt knows his stuff but physically he has problems. On the other hand, Jenko is physically fit but he doesn’t know the Miranda Rights. While on bike patrol at a local park, the partners see a drug deal happening and they chase the drug dealers, but all does not go according to plan and the dealers get away.
After their miserable attempt at a drug bust in the park, the boys are sent to Aroma of Christ Church, headquarters of the Jump Street Division. Their assignment: go undercover at a local high school to discover the distributor and the creator of a new drug that the students are taking. Their new boss, Captain Dickinson (Ice Cube) orders them to “Teenage the F ‘up”. Their cover is that they are brothers and they move into Schmidt’s parent’s house and share Schmidt’s old bedroom. Jenko is enrolled in easy classes, including drama, while Schmidt is enrolled in AP chemistry. Their covers get switched; however, and Jenko ends up in the advanced chemistry class, while Schmidt is in drama class, where they are auditioning for “Peter Pan.”
While undercover, Schmidt becomes friendly with the popular kids in school, including Eric (James Franco) and Molly (Brie Larson), and Jenko ends up hanging out with the other students in his AP chemistry class. So basically, it’s the opposite of how it was when our heroes were in high school, which makes for some crazy situations.
Other notable characters in “21 Jump Street” include Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) the gym teacher, Mr. Gordon (Chris Parnell) the drama teacher, Ms. Griggs (Ellie Kemper) the chemistry teacher, and Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman).
This is NOT a movie for kids. There was liberal use of the F word as well as many sexual innuendos. There is also excessive drug use (surprise). I wasn’t really expecting much from this reboot but I was pleasantly surprised at how hilarious it was. I was laughing through pretty much most of the movie. There were a lot of crazy hijinks going on, and Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum were surprisingly well-matched.