If you had walked into the cinema just as 21 Jump Street was finishing, you probably wouldn’t be very impressed.
It would appear to have all the hallmarks of a cliché-fest – explosions, infantile humour and an embarrassingly predictable romance.
But only by watching this cop flick from the beginning would you realise this sequel to the 1987 TV series combines laidback humour with a concerted attempt to poke fun at Hollywood.
At a police academy two trainee cops – geeky Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and macho but dim-witted Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) – suddenly recognise each other as former classmates.
The pair become almost reluctant friends, but are underwhelmed by their first joint task – patrolling a local park on bicycles.
After messing up their first attempt at an arrest the pair are transferred to 21 Jump Street, where they are sent undercover at a local high school to infiltrate a drugs gang by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube).
They soon discover trends have changed since they left education. The aggression Jenko who used to thrive at school is no more, while Schmidt is embraced by the new cool, environmentally-aware and liberal kids.
This comedy is a genuinely funny, unpretentious success and some of its throwaway moments are among the best. One, a hilarious, spoof high-speed chase – which started off in a learner driver’s dual-control car – sees the bungling officers themselves being chased by the gang they are supposed to have infiltrated.
21 Jump Street is no classic yet it is funny and even if the conclusion is unsatisfying, this is not a movie held together by its plot but by its humour and this doesn't detract from its high entertainment value.