These days, Brie Larson is a global superstar, known as the MCU’s Captain Marvel and for her Oscar-winning performance in Room. But it wasn’t too long ago that she was just a talented supporting actor popping up in goofy comedies. Her hits include Hoot, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and a truly hilarious movie that’s currently leaping up the Netflix charts: 2012’s 21 Jump Street.
This Phil Lord and Chris Miller buddy cop comedy was met with groans on its announcement, with the public justifiably tired of reworkings of 1980s TV shows. Then the surprisingly positive reviews began to trickle out, followed by some extremely strong word-of-mouth… and before long everyone knew that 21 Jump Street was awesome.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play incompetent undercover police officers tasked with infiltrating a high school drug ring. But the film goes beyond that concept and continually pokes fun at the conceit, at these actors being believable as teenagers, and at lazy movies based on old TV. Larson has a great (and kinda touching) role as the high school girl who falls for Jonah Hill’s character and becomes rightly dismayed when she learns the truth.
The similarly brilliant 22 Jump Street followed in 2014 and more sequels were rumored. Word was that we’d see 23 Jump Street, a crossover between Men in Black and Jump Street, and a female-centered spinoff called Jump Street: Now for Her Pleasure. Only that last one seems to be a going concern, though as of November 2020 only a draft of the script had been completed.
It’s likely that the Jump Street franchise has gone off the boil, but that may be for the best, as comedy sequels rarely increase in quality (Channing Tatum said “I don’t know if that joke works three times..”). Plus, the films directly poked fun at this carrying on forever in the genius credits sequence to 22 Jump Street.
In the meantime, check out 21 Jump Street on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet you’re in for a treat.