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Thursday July 18th 2024

21 Jump Street | 2012

Demonstrating that there’s more to the city than its picturesque French Quarter, New Orleans becomes the fictitious ‘Anytown, USA’ in the big-screen version of the TV show that launched the career of Johnny Depp.

Much of the filming was to the west of the city, around Metairie.

A little south, toward the Mississippi, the neighbourhood of Jefferson is home to Riverdale High School, 240 Riverdale Drive, seen in the ‘2005’ prologue, as both the younger Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) realise they won’t be going to the prom.

Going on to join the police force, the bad-ass mofos are soon rescuing frisbees and keeping Metairie’s Lafreniere Park free from illegal duck feeding. It’s here that they bungle their first attempted arrest when they confront a gang of bikers but forget the Miranda rights

Their youthful looks see them sent back to school undercover, to track down the source of dodgy new street drug ‘HFS’.

The Korean ‘Aroma Of Christ Church’, used as the clandestine police HQ at ‘21 Jump Street’, is the Historic St James AME Church, 222 North Roman Street. Still very much a functioning church, it was made to look run-down and abandoned just for the movie.

As usual, it was tough to find one establishment which could provide everything the script needed, so three separate schools are knitted together to form ‘Sagan High School’.

Most of the filming is at West Jefferson High School, 2200 8th Street, in Harvey, south of the Mississippi from New Orleans.

Some interiors, including the band room where the totally zonked Jenko disrupts practice, were filmed in Belle Chasse High School, 8346 Louisiana 23, in Belle Chasse, a few miles further southeast.

Grace King High School, 4301 Grace King Place, back in Metairie itself, supplies the auditorium where the production of Peter Pan is livened up with two Peters and an aerial fight.

After the stand-off at the prom (with unbilled cameos from stars of the original TV series), the final limo chase screeches through the Central Business District of New Orleans proper. Schmidt follows gun-wielding Domingo (DeRay Davis) west along Poydras Street, (where the instantly recognisable sign for Zatarain’s on the corner of Camp Street is replaced with a Chinese restaurant ad), turning left into Baronne Street, where Jenko pushes out their totally wasted passenger.

As the limo turns into Union Street, Jenko throws his improvised tequila-lithium batteries bomb, blowing up the drug gang’s car in the parking lot on O’Keefe Avenue, between Union and Perdido Streets, opposite the O’Keefe Plaza Hotel.

Villainous teacher Mr Walters (Rob Riggle) gets a nasty gunshot injury at the corner of O’Keefe Avenue and Union Street – and the boys finally get to read someone his Miranda rights.

New Orleans has seen an upsurge of filming recently, and you might recognise this same location as the spot where panicked crowds flee the appearance of the Parallax in Green Lantern.