21 Jump Street is a surprisingly satisfying comedy

What surprised me most about 21 Jump Street was not that it was funny, it was that the story at the heart of the comedy was genuinely sweet and believable. Co-written by star Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall (who also had a hand in Project X and, more impressively, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), 21 Jump Street re-imagines the serious, after-school special tone of the 1980’s show (which is best remembered for giving Johnny Depp his start) as a buddy cop/high school comedy hybrid. Driven by the chemistry between Hill and Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street works on both levels. I do have one bone to pick, though, with the foundations of the story. The opening scene is titled “2005”, and it shows Hill with bleached blonde hair, dressing like Eminem used to, as “The Real Slim Shady” plays. I graduated high school in 2001, when Eminem was super huge and some boys did jack his (dubious) style. By the time I graduated college in 2005, Eminem was not the king of the hill. That scene bugged the hell out of me because EVERYONE in the theater was shaking their heads going, “No guys, we know he wasn’t that popular in 2005”. It set up a joke in the next scene, sure, but it grated on me that an otherwise decent script botched such an obvious pop culture reference. Continue reading “21 Jump Street is a surprisingly satisfying comedy”