Back in the early days of pay-TV, Sky One aired 21 Jump Street – a US cop show about young-looking detectives investigating crimes on college and high school campuses.
It was an inventive take on the whole cop genre but probably most notable for making a star of Johnny Depp.
Always keen on remakes and reboots, Hollywood has now given the series a big screen makeover, adding some humour and a dash of self-parody to the crime-fighting staples of gun fights, car chases and explosions.
In this film version Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play the possibly not quite youthful enough looking cops forced to return to school and track down the source of a new drug doing the rounds.
One a geek, the other a former jock, the pair find High School has changed since their time – the meek have indeed inherited the earth while being dumb but good at sports is no longer cool.
Bound by all the conventions of a buddy cop movie, 21 Jump Street offers no surprises but does have some decent jokes and a couple of nice moments – look out for Depp’s much talked-about cameo.
I’d have preferred a ‘straight’ adaptation rather than a Police Academy-style incarnation, but nevertheless this is a good, fun film. As with Starksy & Hutch fans, purists with fond memories of the original may not like what they find.
The brand clearly has potential to become a new cinema franchise – the format allows producers to easily jettison ageing cast members between instalments – so don’t be surprised if next summer brings a return to Jump Street.
Our verdict 3/5
Nationwide from March 16th