22 Jump Street Blu-ray Review
After the success of 21 JUMP STREET, it was inevitable that the cast and crew would reunite for a sequel. And thankfully, they didn’t wait too long to make the sequel (I’m looking at you, ANCHORMAN) and so they were able to capitalize on the original’s plot and use it as a source of jokes. 22 JUMP STREET is heavy on the self-realization, using the fact it’s a sequel and it’s regurgitating the same plot of the first film as a source of humor on several occasions. I appreciated the self-deprecating humor, but what the directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller didn’t seem to realize was that all they really had to do was stick Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill on camera together for a couple of hours and they would have all the laughs they need.
As predicted at the end of 21 JUMP STREET, Jenko and Schmidt are off to college, this time to immerse themselves in the school population to figure out who’s selling a new designer drug. And yeah, that’s the premise of the original and yes, they make fun of that fact several times. The only real difference is that they’re in college as opposed to high school and this time, Jenko manages to fit in and Schmidt is the outsider. The funny thing about the familiarity of the sequel is that even if they hadn’t made fun of themselves, I would have been fine with the worn out plot. The script was clever enough and Hill and Tatum were funny enough to carry the film effortlessly and let’s not forget that the original film’s plot was basically the plot of about 25 episodes of the TV show it’s loosely based on. For all the focus on the plot of 22 JUMP STREET, it’s really not the most important thing in a film like this.
The comedy this time around is not as strong as in the original as the film offered only a handful of laugh out loud moments, the funniest of which revolved around Schmidt and Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) realizing they had an uncomfortable common interest. And even that scene was made great by Jenko’s response. The film is heavy on subtle humor, getting laughs from short comments and quick retorts rather than overly humorous situations. That’s not a bad thing as that subtle humor works really well in the film and is really what makes this and the original so re-watchable.
If I have a problem with 22 JUMP STREET, it’s that the film missed the chance to capitalize on the best part of the film, which is the on-screen chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. They’re hilarious together and play exceptionally well off of each other, which is why it was frustrating the sequel separated them for a big chunk of the film. It’s a small complaint, but it prevented the film from ever fully reaching its comedic potential. That said, it’s still a very funny film and a welcomed return for Hill and Tatum, who seem to have a blast making these movies. So much so, that you can sign me up for Medical School now.
Video: 22 JUMP STREET looks beautiful on Blu-ray, making for an incredibly bright, vibrant picture.
Audio: The audio was fine.
Commentary with Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller: These guys are as good and funny as you’d expect them to be, constantly cracking jokes and having a good time. The track is light on technical details, but it’s a fun listen and you feel like you’re in the room with them, laughing along with them.
Deleted and Extended Scenes (41:48): A couple of TV vets show up in these deleted scenes and I was a little disappointed their scenes were cut. I liked the old crew making cameos in the original. The rest of the scenes are hit and miss, but for the most part, I didn’t see anything that really needed to be included in the film.
The Perfect Line (7:09): I liked this featurette because it looked into the various improve lines the cast did during shooting. I always wonder which jokes were written and which ones the actors come up with on their own. This didn’t cover everything, but it was a nice peek.
Don’t Cut Yet (8:35), Joke-A-Palooza (5:59) and Line-O-Ramas (9:58): More extended and alternate joke sequences. Some of these were pretty funny.
The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street (10:00): Supposedly, this was put together because the filmmakers were asked to re-cut the film for an overseas audience, so every joke was removed to make it more of a crime drama. It’s actually hilarious when you compare it to the regular movie.
Zook & McQuaid Scout Reel (2:17): This is the full scout reel that the guys were making in the movie.
Jenko Split (:44): This is the clip of Channing Tatum doing the splits ala Van Damme.
There are four behind the scenes featurettes: The Perfect Couple of Directors (9:35), Everything is Better in College (7:49), Janning and Chonah (7:38) and New Recruits (9:45). Since these are the more “serious” featurettes, I lumped them together. The best of the bunch is Janning and Chonah, which focused on the chemistry between the two leads. The others are more informational featurettes about the making of the film.