Phil Lord and Chris Miller‘s 21 Jump Street is still the best comedy I’ve seen all year. The energy they bring to the direction of the film, paired with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum‘s on-point chemistry and comedic ability makes 21 Jump Street outrageously funny and oddly enough fresh, even considering its TV origins.
Schmidt (Channing Tatum) and Jenko (Jonah Hill) are two unlikely best friends. They knew each other in high school, but that was about it. Schmidt fits your average jock meat-head persona while Jenko leaned towards the nerdy juggler. The two had different high school lives, but they ended up crossing paths in the police academy.
Jenko helped Schmidt on his written exams while Schmidt helped Jenko on the physical stuff and from that point the two have been best friends since.
Their latest mission comes from Captain Dickson (Ice Cube); the captain of an undercover police operation that infiltrates high schools by sending their younger officers into the field as classmates. There’s a new drug on the street and Jenko and Schmidt must stop it from breaking out and spreading to other schools. This assignment is tossed onto their lap after an incident in the park led to both their suspects getting away and Schmidt forgetting his Miranda Rights.
The duo has some troubles coping with the idea of going back to school, especially since Jenko dreaded those years. Schmidt promises things won’t change between the two, so they embark on the journey of going back to school in a day and age where comic books are considered cool and driving fast muscle cars is considered disrespectful to the environment. How bad can these two possibly mess up?
I’m still genuinely surprised with how the film turned out. The trailers had it looking kind of lame, especially with Channing Tatum all of sudden taking on a comedic character, but boy was I wrong. Not only does Channing Tatum‘s comedy work, it happens to be the best thing in the entire film! His natural ability to make you laugh in this film is alarming. I’m not sure where he learned how to do comedy so well, but he’s definitely got a talent for it and I think he should stick with the genre.
Jonah Hill is usually pretty funny in his films, but his performance in 21 Jump Street only really works because of his excellent on-screen chemistry with Channing Tatum. The two sell the whole best friends forever angle really well and they never make you question their commitment to each other as friends and as partners of the law.
The other two notable crew members that deserve some recognition are director’s Chris Miller and Phil Lord. The two previously worked on the insanely creative animated feature Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and they bring that same sense of “wow” to 21 Jump Street. It’s at time all over the place in complete bizarro land and yet their weird approach effectively makes the film that much funnier. There are some really good lines in the film that will make your stomach hurting because of all of the laughter that follows and Miller/Lord are to blame.
21 Jump Street is the perfect mixture of all of the right ingredients. The perfect directing duo (Miller & Lord) stirred in with a pair of hilarious best bud performers (Tatum & Hill) makes 21 Jump Street a rare comedy that’s never too raunchy or brainless. It’s in fact a comedy with a fresh direction and a lot of young talent that prove they know how to do comedy. Supporting roles by Brie Larson, Rob Riggle and Dave Franco are not wasted and actually fully flexed and just as important to the story as Tatum and Hill.
I’m still waiting for something to come and take the best comedy of the year award from 21 Jump Street, but the more I revisit the film the more I realize just how special it really is.
The film is presented on Blu-Ray with a shockingly dull 1080p video transfer that restrains vibrancy and detail from ever peaking. Colors are neutral and dim, with the overall feel not really matching the hyper storytelling. This isn’t a horrible transfer or anything; it’s clean and balanced, but it never reaches the point of impressing.
the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track doesn’t suffer from the same fate. This track is more of something you’d expect from Sony, with lots of clarity and evenly displaced surround. Clarity is king, with dialogue being spot-on and musical cues weighing in on the back channels.
The disc comes with the following bonus content:
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes (HD)
- Gag Reel (HD)
- Cube-O-Rama (HD)
- Back to School (HD)
- Brothers in Arms (HD)
- Johnny Depp on Set (HD)
- The Rob Riggle Show (HD)
- Peter Pan on the Freeway (HD)
- Sony Previews (HD)
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
The Blu-Ray visuals are a tad soft and limited, but the audio track blows up and provides for an enjoying experience. The special features are plentiful and full of variety. There’s also a digital copy included, so you can take the madness with you where ever you go.
21 Jump Street is outrageously funny and that perfect balance between cast and crew that makes for the best comedy of the year. Phil Lord and Chris Miller inject the film with their wild techniques and cuts and Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill give you two characters really worth cheering for. I couldn’t have expected a better movie and I’m incredibly relieved to know that Tatum can handle stuff outside of those boring romantic dramas.
This is one of the best Blu-Rays of the year and it is hands down a must own title.