21 Jump Street ★★★★

How bout that C-Tates, huh?

Dude is having a banner year. I was never completely against him as a leading man. G.I. Joe was great and there are plenty of far worse actors out there making far more abstinence-parable-fueled money. But I didn’t expect him to f’n nail it this year like he has with Magic Mike and 21 JUMP STREET.

I never saw the original show but the premise was known well enough to me. The idea of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum being the team to revive this property seemed at best silly. Thankfully, it surpassed that low estimate.

As unlikely a team as they are, Hill and Tatum worked great together. Both guys are given tons of great material to work with and play off of each other perfectly. It also helps that they’re surrounded by a hilarious and equally as good cast. Rob Riggle and Ice Cube both stood out and landed some really funny jokes. And my most happy surprise while watching was seeing my personal internet hero, Dax Flame, up on the screen!

The other nice surprise was seeing just how balls out this movie actually turned out to be. It really didn’t hold anything back in terms of both the humor and the violence. This is a hilariously silly, bloody hard-R movie and it’s awesome to see actors and filmmakers clearly have so much fun with the ridiculousness they’re creating.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler anymore to say that Johnny Depp makes a cameo here, but I won’t say how or when. Just know that it was my favorite part of the movie and a brilliant way to use him in the movie.

21 JUMP STREET just kept surprising me – in its casting, its jokes and its flirtation with the usual Hollywood blockbuster edge – ended up rising above my middling expectations to be a pretty damn funny movie that I’m genuinely excited to watch again.