Loosely based on the TV series, this lowbrow comedy looks like it was shot in about a week, which would explain why some jokes have an off-the-cuff appeal and others just feel half-assed. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play inept New Orleans cops who pose as high school students to bust a drug operation; much of the humor involves trotting out cliches from cop movies and teen movies, then commenting on how dumb they are. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) seem to be after the gentle irreverence of David Gordon Green’s buddy flick Pineapple Express, but without his sensitivity and attention to character the movie quickly grows monotonous.
21 Jump Street
R • 1 hour 50 min • 2012