Crowd-pleasing comedy drama

21 Jump Street Columbia/MGM Rating: 14A 109 minutes

21 Jump Street is very loosely based on the TV series of the same name, which ran from 1987 to 1991, and is probably best remembered for boosting Johnny Depp’s career (he makes a cameo appearance too).

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play two screw-up cops assigned to an undercover police unit in which young looking cops go back to high school to find drug dealers.

They knew each other in high school when Hill was the brainy nerd and Tatum the brainless jock. They were not friends then, but at the police academy they become buds as Hill helps Tatum pass the exams and Tatum helps Hill pass the physical.

Assigned as bicycle police in a city park, they screw up badly and are assigned to the high school undercover gig. Hill almost relishes the chance to do high school again without being a nerd, unlike Tatum.

They screw up a lot here too, but the movie is not meant to be taken seriously. A lot of the action (aimed at male high-schoolers) is meant to be silly, gross and shallow, and it is. It kind of runs out of steam towards the end and the comedy morphs into a more routine police chase and bloody shoot-out, before the typical Hollywood happy ending.

This reviewer often laughed, but found much of the movie too silly. However, for most of the young audience this weekend, it was a crowd-pleaser.

Rating: three deer out of five

New on Video

The Muppets are now on video and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a worthy remake of the John le Carre novel.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.