21 Jump Street (Lord and Miller, 2012)

What's it about? Fresh-faced rookie cops Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are assigned to an undercover assignment where they must pose as high school students to infiltrate a drugs gang. But former nerd Schmidt and former jock Jenko find high school has changed a lot since their day. Fishes-out-of-water hijinks ensue.


Is it any good? I wasn't entirely sure I would like this, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was really quite good fun, thanks mainly to appealing and funny performances by Tatum (showing a hitherto unsuspected talent for comedy) and Hill (showing a hitherto unsuspected ability to be thin). Okay, so Hot Fuzz pastiched the mismatched buddy, action-comedy cop-show a few years ago, but this holds its own, delivering good laughs, funny set-pieces and a couple of knowing winks at the viewer about what they're doing here. It could have done with a stronger bad-guy and has a few too many dick jokes (if such a thing is possible), but it keeps things snappy and tight and I laughed several times, and not just because I was drinking at the time. Plus Ice Cube is in it, and he's just cool. (Cool? Ice Cube? Zing!)

Anything else I should know? Readers of a certain vintage will no doubt recall the cheesy 80s TV series that this is based upon, which launched the career of one Johnny Depp. And where there's a movie revamp of an old TV show, there's bound to be a cameo. Can you guess who it might be?

What does the Fonz think? Passes the test





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