21 Jump Street (film)

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21 Jump Street
Promotional poster
Directed by Phil Lord
Christopher Miller
Produced by Stephen J. Cannell
Neal H. Moritz
Screenplay by Michael Bacall
Story by Michael Bacall
Jonah Hill
Based on 21 Jump Street 
by Patrick Hasburgh
Stephen J. Cannell
Starring Jonah Hill
Channing Tatum
Brie Larson
Dave Franco
Rob Riggle
Ice Cube
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography Barry Peterson
Editing by Joel Negrone
Studio Original Film
Cannell Studios
Relativity Media[1]
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Release dates
  • March 16, 2012 (2012-03-16)
Running time 109 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $42 million[3]
Box office $201,585,328[4]

21 Jump Street is a 2012 American action comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, executive produced by and starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and scripted by Michael Bacall from a story by him and Hill.[5] Based on the 1987 television series of the same name by Stephen J. Cannell and Patrick Hasburgh, the film follows two police officers who are forced to relive high school when they are assigned to go undercover as high school students to prevent the outbreak of a new synthetic drug and arrest its supplier. It was released theatrically on March 16, 2012, by Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and was both a critical and commercial success.

A sequel titled 22 Jump Street is in production and will be released in theaters on June 13, 2014, with Lord, Miller, Hill, Tatum and Bacall all returning.[6]


In 2005, Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill), a chubby nerd obsessed with Eminem, is bullied by his rival Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) who is a popular but underachieving jock. The two of them both end high school unhappy. Seven years later they meet each other again at the MCPD (Metropolitan City Police Department) academy and become best friends, as they help with each other's weaknesses, with Schmidt helping Jenko study and Jenko motivating Schmidt through physical activity. They graduate together as partners, but are assigned to park patrol. They catch a break when they spot a drug dealing gang group known as One Percenters and arrest their leader Domingo (DeRay Davis). The department is forced to release him as Jenko forgot the wording of the Miranda rights. The two are reassigned to a revived specialty division on 21 Jump Street. They are introduced to Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), who explains the division specializes in infiltrating high schools and that they were chosen because of their youthful appearances. Schmidt and Jenko are assigned to stop a new synthetic drug called H.F.S (which means "holy fucking shit") from spreading around, as it is currently being contained in one high school.

They go undercover as brothers with their undercover names Brad and Doug McQuaid, living at Schmidt's parents' house. Jenko accidentally switches their identities and they get each other's classes. They learn the lead dealer of the drug is the pseudo-ecological leader of the popular crowd Eric (Dave Franco), but he is not the supplier. They go to the dealing room where Eric forces them to take the drug there and not wait. They attempt to regurgitate it but are unsuccessful, and they undergo the phases of the drug while talking to their P.E. teacher, Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle), and also while running track, during an audition for the school's production of Peter Pan (Schmidt gets chosen for the role of Peter as a result), and at band practice. The mistakes that happen at the track meet cause Eric to take a liking to Schmidt. Schmidt manages to fit in with the popular kids and takes a romantic interest in Eric's friend Molly (Brie Larson), while Jenko becomes friends with the nerds in his AP Chemistry class while his teacher Ms. Griggs (Ellie Kemper) takes a sexual interest in him.

Jenko discovers that his new friends can secretly tap into other people's cell phones to listen into their conversations. Schmidt decides to throw a party at his house to gain Eric's complete trust and Jenko takes the opportunity to tap into Eric's phone. Despite Captain Dickson ordering them not to serve alcohol and drugs to minors, they nevertheless buy alcohol and steal confiscated marijuana. When Eric arrives with Molly and his other friends, Jenko steals Eric's phone for his friends to tap into while Schmidt and Jenko fight off a few rivals of Eric's. Schmidt pretends to sell the drug for Eric but is actually giving it to Captain Dickson to be confiscated. While at Eric's house, Schmidt asks Molly out to prom while Jenko listens through Eric's phone. He also insults Jenko to Eric not knowing that Jenko is listening. Jenko gets a tip from his phone that there is going to be drug meet, he ends up disguising himself and going there, but it ends in a firefight, with Jenko missing the key drug dealers. Schmidt and Jenko learn that Eric is making a deal soon. When Jenko spots Eric leaving school, he takes Schmidt, who was preparing for the play which starts at the same day, to follow him. They see that Eric is dealing with the One Percenters and they follow them, but Domingo spots them and a car chase starts, but both Jenko and Schmidt manage to escape.

Upon returning, Jenko accuses Schmidt of his earlier insults, possibly ruining the case, and getting in too deep, but Schmidt brushes him off and leaves to prepare for the play, only to find that the play is now starting and he is replaced by the substitute. When Schmidt replaces the substitute, apologizes for his tardiness and prepares for the play, Jenko arrives and attacks him on-stage. As a result, Molly (who was cast as Wendy in the play) doesn't want to talk to Schmidt ever again, and both Jenko and Schmidt get expelled from the school. Later, Dickson is forced to expel them from Jump Street. Later that night, both are confronted by Eric and his friends, who want to bring them on as security after hearing about what happened with the One Percenters. He tells them about a deal happening during prom where they get to meet the supplier. At prom, they are surprised to see that the supplier is Mr. Walters, who unwittingly created the drug when he dipped the Cool Ranch Doritos that he always eats into a random concoction of drugs from the chemistry lab.

The One Percenters arrive for the deal, and Domingo recognizes Schmidt and Jenko as police officers since Molly angrily tries to confront Schmidt in the mid-deal and yells out names towards Schmidt, and tells two of his men to kill them. However, the two men reveal themselves as DEA Agents Tom Hanson (Johnny Depp) and Doug Penhall (Peter DeLuise), who were a part of the Jump Street program when it began. Hanson casually talks to Schmidt and Jenko during the standoff which gives Domingo the opportunity to shoot Hanson and Penhall. A gunfight ensues among Schmidt and Jenko, Mr. Walters, and the One Percenters. Mr. Walters and Eric escape in a limo with Molly, who was knocked out after passing out from the drug, as a hostage, with the One Percenters in pursuit of them in another limo, attempting to shoot them unless they pay up.

Schmidt and Jenko pursue all of them in another limo where Jenko creates a homemade chemical bomb from his knowledge in AP Chemistry to kill the One Percenters. They then confront Mr. Walters, who shoots at Schmidt. Jenko jumps in front of Schmidt, saving his life and getting shot in the arm and his chest, which was protected by a bullet-proof vest, in the process. In response, Schmidt shoots Mr. Walters in his penis, severing it. The duo successfully arrest both Mr. Walters reading him his Miranda Rights. Schmidt and Jenko forgive each other. Eric is arrested as well and Schmidt talks to Molly about how sorry he is for lying to her. Molly forgives him as he saved her life, and kisses him before she is taken to the hospital. They are rehired into Jump Street where Dickson gives them a new assignment in a college setting, to Schmidt's excitement but to Jenko's dismay. During the first-credits sequence, a brief scene shows Jenko having sex with Ms. Griggs in the storage room.


Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum promoting the movie in their costumes at WonderCon 2012 in Anaheim, CA.
  • Jonah Hill as Morton Schmidt: an unwitting, socially awkward police officer who is transferred to 21 Jump Street, alongside his partner and former high school rival Greg Jenko. In high school, he was known for being a stereotypical nerd with an Eminem obsession (listening to his music and dressing like him). His undercover identity is Doug McQuaid.
  • Channing Tatum as Gregory "Greg" Jenko: a well-trained, but slow-witted police officer who is transferred to 21 Jump Street, alongside his partner and former high school rival Morton Schmidt. In high school, he was a stereotypical jock. His undercover identity is Brad McQuaid.
  • Dave Franco as Eric Molsen: a pseudo-ecological high school student who befriends Schmidt and is one of the H.F.S. dealers.
  • Brie Larson as Molly: one of Eric's friends and Schmidt's love interest.
  • Rob Riggle as Mr. Walters: a Physical Education teacher who is the supplier of H.F.S.
  • DeRay Davis as Domingo: the leader of the One-Percenters.
  • Ice Cube as Capt. Dickson: an aggressive African-American police captain who manages the 21 Jump Street undercover division.
  • Dax Flame as Zack: one of the nerds Jenko befriends throughout his undercover assignment.
  • Chris Parnell as Mr. Gordon
  • Ellie Kemper as Ms. Griggs: a Science teacher who has a sexual interest towards Jenko.
  • Jake Johnson as Principal Dadier: the principal of Sagan High.
  • Nick Offerman as Deputy Chief Hardy: a police captain who re-assigns Schmidt and Jenko to 21 Jump Street.
  • Holly Robinson Peete as Officer Judy Hoffs
  • Johnny Simmons as Billiam Willingham: a kid who died due to H.F.S.
  • Johnny Pemberton as Delroy
  • Stanley Wong as Roman
  • Rye Rye as Jr. Jr.
  • Justin Hires as Juario
  • Brett Lapeyrouse as Amir
  • Lindsey Broad as Lisa
  • Caroline Aaron as Annie Schmidt
  • Joe Chrest as David Schmidt
  • Dakota Johnson as Fugazy
  • Chanel Celaya as Melodie: the girl who Schmidt asks to prom in the beginning
  • Spencer Boldman as French Samuels, the substitute in the play
  • Johnny Depp as Tom Hanson (Uncredited Cameo)
  • Peter DeLuise as Doug Penhall (Uncredited Cameo)


In May 2008, Columbia Pictures confirmed that a film version of the series was under development. Jonah Hill rewrote an existing script by screenwriter Joe Gazzam and executive produced the film, as well as starred in the film.[7] Hill has said he wanted horror director Rob Zombie to direct the picture. In May 2009, Hill described the film adaptation as being a "R-rated, insane, Bad Boys-meets-John Hughes-type movie".[8] On December 21, 2009, it was announced that Columbia Pictures were in talks with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs directing duo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, to direct the film.[9] The film follows the same continuity as the TV series; Lord said, "So, all of those events of the original happened. And now here we are 20 years later, and we’re watching it happen to different people."[10] However, the film features a highly comedic tone, departing radically from the more dramatic and earnest tone of the series.[11]


The film was shot in and around the city of Metairie, Louisiana (suburb of New Orleans), although the filmmakers took elaborate steps to disguise the location as a generic city. They replaced distinctive street signs with signs using a Helvetica typeface, digitally removed billboards for local businesses (except the recognizable local RTA signs toward the end of the film as well as a Zatarain's billboard ad), and avoided filming locations with iconic New Orleans imagery. Despite this, signature landmarks such as the Crescent City Connection and distinctive French Quarter-area street are still partially visible.[12] The main school used as the stand-in for the fictional Sagan High School was Riverdale High School, located in Jefferson, Louisiana.[13] The naked baby pictures of Hill's character used in the film were actual pictures of Hill as a child.[14]


A total of 21 songs were licensed for use in the film. Despite this, no soundtrack album was released featuring the music from the film including the score by Mark Mothersbaugh. A modernized cover of the original television's theme song by Rye Rye and Esthero was released as a single in the iTunes Store.[15]


The premiere of 21 Jump Street took place on March 12, 2012, at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX during SXSW.[16] The film opened in a wide release in theaters on March 16, 2012.

Box office[edit]

The film topped the North American box office with $13.2 million on its opening day. During the weekend, the film grossed $35 million, taking The Lorax out of the #1 spot that it held for its first two weeks.[17]

The film grossed $138,447,667 in North America, and $63,137,661 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $201,585,328; it is also the No. 1 top-grossing movie under the High School Comedy genre.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews of the film have been positive, with commentators praising the screenplay and Tatum's performance. Based on 205 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" 85% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 7.2/10. The consensus states: "A smart, affectionate satire of '80s nostalgia and teen movie tropes, 21 Jump Street offers rowdy mainstream comedy with a surprisingly satisfying bite."[18] Metacritic gives the film a "generally favorable" score of 69% based on reviews from 41 critics.[19]


The film was listed as the number 6 most illegally downloaded film of 2012 on BitTorrent with approximately 7.6 million downloads.[20]

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Result Ref.
2012 BMI Film & TV Awards Film Music Award Mark Mothersbaugh Won [21]
Golden Trailer Awards Best Pre-show Theatrical Advertising Won [22]
Best Comedy TV Spot Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance Jonah Hill Nominated [23]
Best Cast 21 Jump Street
Best On-Screen Transformation Johnny Depp
Best Fight Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill vs. Kid Gang
Best Gut-Wrenching Performance Jonah Hill and Rob Riggle
Best "tool" Music Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Comedy 21 Jump Street Won


Choice Movie: Actor Comedy Channing Tatum Won
Choice Movie: Actor Comedy Jonah Hill Nominated
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Big Budget Comedy Feature 21 Jump Street - Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera, Elizabeth Coulon, (Location Casting), Yesi Ramirez (Associate) Nominated [25]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Comedy Movie 21 Jump Street Nominated [26]
2013 Critic's Choice Award Best Comedy 21 Jump Street Nominated [27]
Best Actor in a Comedy Channing Tatum Nominated

Home media[edit]

21 Jump Street was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Canada and the United States on June 26, 2012[28][29] and was released in the United Kingdom on July 9, 2012.[30] Some of the Blu-ray bonus features include 20 deleted scenes and "Johnny Depp on Set" explaining how they brought Johnny Depp to reprise his role as Tom Hanson. It was revealed that Johnny wanted his character to die, but for unknown reasons. In one of the deleted scenes, Tom and his partner, Doug Penhall, were shown to have survived the shootout.


On March 17, 2012, Sony Pictures announced that it was pursuing a sequel to the film, signing a deal that would see Hill and Bacall return to write a script treatment that would be again developed by Bacall. Hill and Tatum are expected to return to star in the film. They will also be executive producers, alongside producer Neal H. Moritz.[31] Phil Lord and Chris Miller will return to direct this sequel. The film was originally scheduled to be released on June 6, 2014.[32] On May 8, 2013, it was announced that the film would be pushed back a week until June 13, 2014.[33] The film has now been confirmed to be titled 22 Jump Street.[34]

On September 27, 2013, Kurt Russell mentioned that his son Wyatt turned down a role for The Hunger Games sequels to star in 22 Jump Street.[35]


  1. ^ "Relativity Media LLC: Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO: Entertainment Creation, Movie Financing, Film Distribution & Production". Retrieved February 29, 2012. "Upcoming films for Relativity include: Haywire, Act of Valor, The Raven, Mirror Mirror, 21 Jump Street, American Reunion, and The Bourne Legacy." 
  2. ^ "21 JUMP STREET (15)". British Board of Film Classification. January 24, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Movie Projector: '21 Jump Street' could open to over $30 million - latimes.com". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "21 Jump Street". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  5. ^ "21 Jump Street Gets Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct". Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ Dweeber, Justin. "21 Jump Street 2 Release Date: Revealed". The Hollywood Gossip. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  7. ^ Sperling, Nicole (May 13, 2008). "Jonah Hill in negotiations to develop '21 Jump Street' movie". hollywoodinsider.ew.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009. 
  8. ^ Coll, Kevin (May 28, 2009). "Jonah Hill Talks 21 Jump Street Remake Movie". Fused Film. 
  9. ^ Coll, Kevin (December 21, 2009). "21 Jump Street Film Gets Phil Lord and Chris Miller To Direct". Fused Film. Retrieved December 21, 2009. 
  10. ^ Caffeinated Clint (March 20, 2012). "Clint talks to 21 Jump Street helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller". Moviehole. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  11. ^ Lisa Schwarzbaum (March 16, 2012). "'21 Jump Street': A fast, cheeky interpretation of the original". CNN. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ Scott, Mike (March 18, 2012). "A city undercover: New Orleans keeps a low profile in '21 Jump Street'". The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA). Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://movies.ign.com/articles/121/1218751p1.html
  14. ^ "Video - Jonah Hill: 'The Naked Baby Pictures In Jump Street Are Mine' - 21 Jump Street Press Conference Part 1". Contactmusic.com (New York City, NY). April 3, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "iTunes - Music - 21 Jump Street - Main Theme (From the Motion Picture "21 Jump Street") - Single by Rye Rye & Esthero". iTunes Store. March 10, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Channing Tatum's SXSW "21 Jump Street" Premiere". Celebrity-Gossip.net. March 13, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ "'The Lorax' Defeats Disappointing 'John Carter'". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved March 11, 2012. 
  18. ^ "21 Jump Street". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ "21 Jump Street Reviews, Rating and Credits". Metacritic. CBS. March 16, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  20. ^ Van Der Sar, Ernesto (December 27, 2012). "Project X Most Pirated Movie of 2012". TorrentFreak. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2011. 
  21. ^ Gallo, Phil (May 17, 2012). "Backbeat: Rolfe Kent Receives Career Achievement Honor at BMI Film and TV Awards". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ "The 13th Annual Golden Trailer Awards". Goldentrailer.com. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ Ford, Rachel (June 3, 2012). "MTV Movie Awards: Complete Winners List". Hollywood Reporter (Prometheus Global Media). Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "First Wave of "Teen Choice 2012" Nominees Announced" (PDF). Teen Choice Awards. May 18, 2012. Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  25. ^ "2012 Artios Casting Award Winners Announced - Once, Venus In Fur & More". Broadway World. October 30, 2012. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  26. ^ Khatchatourian, Maane (December 9, 2012). "The People's Choice Awards nominees are ...". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  27. ^ Hammond, Pete (December 11, 2012). "‘Lincoln’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Silver Linings’ Top List Of Nominees For 18th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards". deadline.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Canadian DVD Release Date". Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  29. ^ "American DVD Release Date". Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  30. ^ "United Kingdom DVD Release Date". Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  31. ^ Oldham, Stuary; Sneider, Jeff (March 16, 2012). "Sony books '21 Jump Street' sequel". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved March 17, 2012. 
  32. ^ Kit, Borys (May 3, 2013). "'Men in Black 4' in Development at Sony". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  33. ^ "21 Jump Street 2 Takes Jurassic Park 4's Old Date". Comingsoon.net. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  34. ^ Chitwood, Adam (June 5, 2013). "21 Jump Street Sequel Titled 22 Jump Street". Collider.com. Retrieved June 17, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Kurt Russell - Kurt Russell: 'My Son Turned Down Hunger Games For 21 Jump Street 2'". Contactmusic.com. 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 

External links[edit]