A pair of goofball cops are sent undercover in a high school to bring down a drug ring. Based on the 80s TV series of the same name, the film is part-action, part bromance-comedy, but, from what I can gather, being shy of the Jump Street generation myself, this is no homage to Johnny Depp’s career-making show.
When Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are forced to go back to school, their reaction is dread and excitement, respectively. However, their assigned “roles” are accidently swapped and suddenly drama-nerd Hill is in with the cool kids.
While Hill can just pass for an overweight teen, 31-year-old Tatum is repeatedly the butt of jokes for his in-no-way-believable age. “How old are you, 40?” asks one student. The film has several of these self-aware moments. It feels like a bunch of dudes testing how far they can stretch a script they pulled from the recycle bin.
What’s interesting is the transformation from the ‘jocks rule’ hierarchy to the more grey-area levels of cool today. In 2011, tolerance and the environment are in, and the school “jock” (Dave Franco – James’ charming brother) is a guitar-strumming vegan who has already been accepted into Berkeley. Tatum, who believes he’ll slip naturally into school is shocked, “I blame Glee,” he fumes.
I, personally blame Superbad. It’s obvious Jump Street is a Jonah Hill project. If you’re a fan of dick jokes and car chases you’ll enjoy yourself. Pass on the popcorn – there’s enough corn in the closing “I love you bro” scenes.