If you saw "21 Jump Street" back in the '80s, or any of a number of shows featuring cute and cuddly cops, you pretty much know where this flick is heading.
Luke Y. ThompsonDallas Observer
Some fairly standard shenanigans ensue, and when the clichéd high school culture clash stuff stops, there's clichéd cop movie stuff going on.
Lawrence ToppmanCharlotte Observer
Sheri LindenThe Hollywood Reporter
Nick Cannon, playing an L.A. cop who goes undercover as a prep school student, provides the few sparks this wan action-comedy can muster.
So far-fetched as to make "Kindergarten Cop" look comparatively austere.
Lisa SchwarzbaumEntertainment Weekly
The loserville teen comedy Underclassman is like a student project sloppily cribbed from other kids' notes -- kids who have seen "Rush Hour" and still can't get over how funny it is to stick a noisy black guy in a distinctly nonblack setting.
What's remarkable is how absolutely every character in the film is a movie cliche.
Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times
Underclassman doesn't even try to be good. It knows that it doesn't have to be. It stars Nick Cannon, who has a popular MTV show, and it's a combo cop movie, romance, thriller and high school comedy. That makes the TV ads a slam dunk; they'll generate a Pavlovian response in viewers conditioned to react to their sales triggers (smartass young cop, basketball, sexy babes, fast cars, mockery of adults).
Ernest HardyL.A. Weekly
Conceptually, Underclassman is the stillborn spawn of "Beverly Hills Cop" and "21 Jump Street." Except its star, Nick Cannon, possesses neither the biting cool of young Eddie Murphy nor the sullen mystery of Johnny Depp. And the script, by David T. Wagner and Brent Goldberg, is breathtakingly bad.
British bliss czars, the doughnut-loving LAPD, and bitchin'-hot Spanish profs, no matter how many, how fat, or how bitchin' hot, can't make up for easy double entendres and zero character development.