Tuesday, April 10, 2012

21 Jump Street

A bookish outcast and brainless jock who once were at odds in high school, now find themselves as friends in the police academy and bored to tears in their first assignment on bike patrol at the local park. After squandering a small time drug bust, they are transferred to the Jump Street Unit where, due to their boyish looks, they will go undercover in their old school and infiltrate a major drug ring. "21 Jump Street" is an overly self-aware adaptation of the television series of the same name that helped aid Johnny Depp's rise to stardom. With the story to his credit, Jonah Hill costars with Channing Tatum, both of whom are affable and adept as their characters take on role reversals. Supporting players add moments of levity which include Brie Larson, Rob Riggle, Ellie Kemper, Ice Cube, Chris Parnell, Caroline Aaron, and a pretty humorous cameo. The film starts slow with many of its jokes missing the mark,  then hits its stride which it carries out for awhile with many funny gags, before resorting to mostly laughless shootouts and car chase closing sequences. "21 Jump Street" often surprises with more than a few laughs, but still is overlong and contains more than a fair share of stale, ineffectual material.