It was inevitable that one of Hollywood's many recent reboots would eventually attain sentience. Hence the arrival of 21 Jump Street, a film that not only knows it's a remake, but knows how absurd it has to be to succeed as a remake.
Tatum and Hill steamroller any misgivings right from the start. They take a comedy connection that seemed doomed to fail - pairing Tatum's hunky command with Hill's nerdy neediness - and make it look like the most natural thing in the world.
The makers of 21 Jump Street clearly understood that almost nobody really wanted a 21 Jump Street movie, and they've cleverly used a familiar property as a way to get a wildly entertaining new comedy made.
It's part homage and part wink at the past. It jokes about high school but is also a sensitive sociological study of those crucial years. It bridges slapstick and action. It's quick-witted with its pop references.
Rather than treat the late-'80s source material as holy kitsch, the filmmakers have reconceived this tale of illegal narcotics and arrested adolescence as a viciously satirical, unapologetically crude buddy comedy.