Paul Lister’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Teenage the fuck up!"
I've not really been in the mood for anything particularly challenging recently, the concentration just isn't there. So with that in mind I really felt like picking something fun, 21 Jump Street meets that requirement and then some. Two young, idiot cops are sent back to high school to "infiltrate the dealer, find the supplier" of a new super drug that has killed a student. Well without the idiot cops part you may be forgiven for thinking this is a straight up teen detective movie.
The movie work because of the bromance pairing of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Tatum especially excels in his role, as a loveable airhead who was popular in school but finds things have changed since he graduated. It maybe down to the surprise element but Tatum really brings strong comedic chops to this film and his performance is actually my favourite thing about it. Watching him tripping out on drugs is a pleasure.
As with any bromance though, it wouldn't work with out other half. Jonah Hill lost some considerable weight for this film and the results are striking. He clearly strikes up a strange bond with Tatum and plays the nerd character well. Of course in any film like this we need a lover tiff and no surprises that Tatum and Hill fall out over the course of the film due to the insecurities that have been highlighted through the film. In that regard it's all neatly played out.
The film as a reasonable dose of action too although nothing especially brilliant, although the chase scene playing on the explosions that never come was pretty sweet. What's really important about the film though is the laughs, or which there are plenty. The meta jokes are amusing, the film is a reboot of a popular TV show of the same name and there are some well played cameos too. Ice Cube nails it as the stereotypical angry black captain who's all about embracing the stereotype and Korean Jesus gets plenty of laughs too. But again it is the bromantic chemistry between it's lead actors that really provides the main bulk of the laughs in the film.
Some of the fun dissipates a little after the cameo as the plot has to be resolved but it's still fun and the central relationship is strong enough to see us through. Can't wait to see 37 Jump Street soon...wait, that doesn't sound right.