It’s all part of a program to infiltrate local high schools to route out illegal activity, overseen by the always angry Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). Now Schmidt and Jenko are undercover at Schmidt’s parents’ (Caroline Aaron and Joe Chrest) house and they’re trying to track down the culprits behind the new drug, HFS after one student, Billiam Willingham (Johnny Simmons) dies. Soon enough, Schmidt and Jenko are up to their elbows in high school students, trying to fit in, but finding just how different things are now. The nerds are the new cool kids and the jocks have fallen down the social ladder. But can Schmidt and Jenko’s new friendship withstand the bond they’ve made as Schmidt gets popular and starts getting friendly with Molly Tracey (Brie Larson) while winding up as HFS’s best dealer, working under Eric Molson (Dave Franco, yes, brother of James). And why won’t flammables explode during high speed chases?
Thank you, Michael Bacall. Thank you for showing us that your last writing debacle (Project X) was just a blip on your otherwise nice little resume. It seems that being friends with Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright actually has managed to pay off. If anyone was ever going to “want” an Americanized remake of Wright’s brilliant Hot Fuzz, consider this compensation of sorts. While we all know no one in their right mind would truly ever ask for that, at least it shows that Bacall learned a thing or two while co-writing Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Bacall also brought along a few of his Scott Pilgrim friends as well, in the likes of Larson (Envy Adams) and Simmons (Young Neil).
In the meantime, does everything work? Not exactly. But is the film hilarious? Without a doubt. While at times you may think they’re about to run a particular joke into the ground, they always find a way to either make you laugh until you cry or let it go only to bring it back later as a hilarious punchline. And alas, if you were looking for cameos from the original series, the most recognizable belongs to Holly Robinson Peete. So if you’re wondering if the film is worth the ticket? Most definitely. While I may have had plenty of love to share for last month’s Wanderlust, as charming as that was I have no reservations proclaiming 21 Jump Street the funniest film of the year so far.
Photos courtesy Columbia Pictures