In hindsight, its main thrust was to turn Johnny Depp, who played Tom Hanson, into a teen idol.
But that show had a certain amount of heft, as young police officers went undercover at high schools to catch criminals. The characters’ actions had consequences. They got hurt. They suffered.
The new movie version of “21 Jump Street” takes the show’s name and premise, and mixes them with a wacky, over-the-top attitude. The humor is locker room approved, a lot of stuff blows up, and a guy gets shot in the crotch. “21 Jump Street” is nothing serious, and some of it’s even funny.
Jonah Hill is Schmidt, a social outcast in high school who gets a second chance as a police officer. His partner, Jenko (Channing Tatum), was a stud back in the day, but he has trouble fitting in with the tolerant, eco-friendly youth culture in the film.
They’re trying to stop the supplier of a new, deadly drug before it expands to other schools.
They ingest a fair amount of drugs and alcohol in the process of their investigation. Schmidt also falls for a high school girl (Molly Tracey), something his captain (Ice Cube) loudly and angrily warned him against.
Your ticket buys access to several car chases, including a fun one involving a trio of limousines on prom night. And maybe you’ll get a cameo or two from the original series. Who knows?
I’ve got nothing against crude jokes, and I don’t consider the old TV show a sacred vessel, but this update is an uneven effort. I found myself laughing at one scene then checking my watch during the next. I’d hoped for a better movie.
I give “21 Jump Street” a C.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7 She gives '21 Jump Street" a C.
"Go see 'This Means War.'