22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street photo starrating-3andahalfstars.jpgOfficers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back in this follow-up to the wildly popular 2012 hit 21 Jump Street. There isn’t much new or fresh added to the original idea of the first. Sequels are usually more of the same, just bigger with an increased budget. The whole production is rather pointless, but that IS the point. Familiarity is a major component of the laughs. The truth is, the only thing a comedy really needs to be, is funny and 22 Jump Street is indeed that.

I don’t even think the narrative matters but here’s a little recap anyway. Instead of high school this time, the two go undercover at a local college. They’re out to investigate a new designer drug called WHYPHY (pronounced Wi-Fi) which the students are using to help them study. Instead of locating their base of operations in the Korean church at 21 Jump Street, this satire has them setting up headquarters on the opposite side at 22 Jump Street. That’s the level of humor on display here. The screenplay keeps everything that made the original hilarious and even a few things that didn’t. The first movie’s villains Dave Franco and Rob Riggle cameo as prisoners whose interaction is profoundly unfunny. It borders on embarrassing. However, there are new additions like Jillian Bell as Mercedes, a college student that sees right through Schmidt’s weak cover.  Her deadpan delivery had me in stitches. Whenever she appears, the scene springs to life. Then there’s the twins that occupy the dorm room across the hall. As portrayed by the Lucas Bros., they provide an off kilter stoned out presence that is reminiscent of Cheech & Chong. In the words of Keith Staskiewicz, they’re “so laid-back, they’re practically lying down.”

22 Jump Street is keenly aware of itself in every way possible. The picture is one big meta joke. Nick Offerman’s grumpy police chief shows up in the beginning to explain we’re going to do EXACTLY the same thing as before. Just in case you didn’t pick up on that from the title, the trailer and everything we’ve seen prior to his appearance. What, are we dead? Three main themes are beaten into the ground ad nauseam. One, that the actors know they are making a sequel, Two, that the principals look too old to be in college, and three that the male camaraderie between work partners Schmidt and Jenko have the superficial characteristics of a romantic relationship. The script persists in exploiting different ways to make gags about these topics. For the most part, they are amusing, but I don’t know how much longer directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller can continue in this vein. There’s a final bit regarding the ongoing monotony of additional episodes in the future: 23 Jump Street, 24 Jump Street, etc. It’s presented as if doing so would be a joke. I hope so. I am not too keen on a protracted franchise that makes fun of routine by being routine.

06-15-14

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24 Responses to “22 Jump Street”

  1. Laughed plenty during this and had a great time. Liked the first a bit more, but this was still pretty great. Nice review Mark.

  2. I really want to see this and enjoyed the first one way, way more than I ever thought I would. Great review, Mark.

  3. davecrewe Says:

    I agree with most of these complaints, but I still had a good time with the movie; the meta stuff was pretty tired, but there were some good gags here – which is what you’re paying for, after all. Not on the same level as the sequel, though.

    • I didn’t think the original was a 5 star comedy. It was funny enough. I suppose this loses some points for doing exactly the same thing, but the jokes are still hilarious so I enjoyed it the same.

  4. Excellent review! I am with you all the way on your final sentiments there, I hope that the ending was only just one big silly joke. If Lord and Miller are as smart as they appear to be, they’ll cut it right here at 22. I did like this one more than the first. . .but mostly because it did lean on the meta jokes even more than before. That almost did get old, you are right.

    But for the majority of the time my cheeks were hurting from laughter. 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed the 21 Jump Street. Channing and Jonah have a good chemistry. Seems the second one is also as exciting as the first one!

  6. Since I hated the first one to the point of stopping it before the ending, I can’t imagine liking this one. Many do though. It has raked in a ton of cash meaning more will be coming down the pipeline.

  7. It really sounds like you didn’t like this movie at a 3.5 star level, but I’m glad you did. I liked this a lot more though. Thought it was better than the first. I have to disagree with you on Jillian Bell, though. She was one of the only complaints I have about the movie. She’s just so annoying. Also, the woman who played Maya (can’t recall her name). She was pretty flat.

    My mother said this was “Okay” and that it “had some funny moments but wasn’t funny overall.” Would you agree? (She never saw 21 Jump Street by the way; I just needed someone who was 17 or older since I’m still 5 months shy of 17, and she loves action movies and comedies, so I told her it was her kind of movie.)

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • I thought it was funny overall. “The truth is, the only thing a comedy really needs to be, is funny and 22 Jump Street is indeed that.” Exact quote from my review. And I liked those performances. It sounds like you had more complaints than I.

  8. The film is hilarious. Tatum and Hill work so well together and to be honest my favourites scene where with them and Ice Cube.

    Great Review

    “We Jump Street, and we ’bout to jump in yo ass. Jenko: Mmmm-hmmm. Schmidt: Right in the crack.”

    • Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum make a hilarious team. So many quotable lines:

      Jenko (to Captain Dickson): I thought we had Cate Blanchett with the budget.
      Schmidt: He meant “carte blanche.”

  9. I laughed a lot, but just thought this was ok. I hope this is the last one, because this story has already gotten “old” to me. I don’t think they can continue to make college students look like idiots. They really do look old, especially Jonah. Jillian Bell was the highlight of the whole movie. She was hilarious. 3 1/2 stars

    • She’s an extraordinary talent.

      Expect to see Jillian Bell in the upcoming Inherent Vice with
      Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin. In 2015 she’ll be in the movie Goosebumps based on the children’s book series by R. L. Stine.

  10. Nice review. 22 Jump Street was more about jokes than plot, but I thought the formula did work, even though there’s really no growth to the story.

  11. Totally agreed, Mark, as you already know. 🙂

    There’s a lot to like here, but hopefully this is where it ends.

  12. Jillian Bell is absolutely hilarious in 22 JUMP STREET. I’ve always enjoyed her on WORKAHOLICS, so I was excited to see her show up in this movie. She’s definitely one of my favorite parts and had me in stitches too. I could see how this film’s meta themes could get tiring to some people though. I know I was having a tough time in the beginning when they were being so heavy-handed about doing the same thing again. For me everything turned around at parents’ weekend and I laughed my ass off for the remainder of the picture.

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