When the last scene in a trailer features Jonah Hill being hit by a car and then saying, “I think I just crapped my pants,” one gets a pretty good sense of the movie. “21 Jump Street” looks like a piece of juvenile nonsense, an unimaginative mixture of high school comedy, action movie and buddy cop film.

21 Jump Street


It’s not a good sign when the amount of exposition in the trailer alone is tiring to keep track of. But the plot, roughly, seems to be that Channing Tatum (“Dear John”) and an unrecognizably slim Jonah Hill (“Get Him to the Greek”), old high school acquaintances, meet in police academy. Tatum excels at the physical aspects of the academy, Hill at the intellectual, and the two start an unlikely friendship. After graduation, the two are given an undercover assignment at a local high school, where they must break up an elaborate drug ring run by the popular kids.

On top of the contrived plot, the jokes in the trailer are heavy-handed, derivative and unfunny. Some action is hinted at — there’s a few seconds of a car chase and a few guns being loaded — but how the movie justifies gunfights at a high school prom is a mystery. With its high-profile stars, the film will do well at the box office, but will, hopefully, be soon forgotten.

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