22 Jump Street Movie Review
“The Koreans bought the church back, so we had to move across the street to 22 JUMP STREET.”
Simple. Hilarious. Brilliant. A goofy little explanation not only gives us the title but makes a self referential joke about the absurdity of making a second film.
Sequels are hard. Let me rephrase, sequels are hard to do right. Usually they are slapped together quickly rehashing the same stuff from the original just to make a quick buck. While many great films seem to fall into this sequel trap, overkilling everything we initially loved from the first, 22 JUMP STREET takes a different approach by embracing the sequel cliché and cranking the comedy to eleven.
21 JUMP STREET surprised everyone by being the funniest comedy of the year. Pointing fun at itself as an old television remake, the film managed to own its farcical roots and deliver a ridiculously clever comedic premise. 22 JUMP STREET does the same thing but works its magic by satirizing the Hollywood sequel. As Deputy Chief Hardy played by Nick Offerman (Parks and Rec) dryly says about the story, “It’s exactly the same.”
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back as the unexpectedly hilarious buddy cop team, Schmidt and Jenko. Their assignment as undercover cops in high school was such a success that the Jump Street program got an upgrade with a much larger budget, which basically means their Captain (Ice Cube) gets to wear expensive shoes and sit in an office encased in glass. In order to stop a new drug from expanding, the Laurel and Hardy of our generation go undercover again, this time as college students. Their mission is familiar, “infiltrate the dealers, find the supplier.”
Regularly, when the premise is the same, it means the movie is a major step backwards. But writers, Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman and Jonah Hill along with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, cleverly play up all the gags with meta type humor, using unnecessary money shot explosions, ‘something cool’ catchphrases, and fun double entendres. The ultimate comedy duo of Tatum and Hill are the true stars, elevating the already funny material to a whole other level. It would be a crime if the pair didn’t work together again in the future as their on-screen chemistry knows no bounds.
22 JUMP STREET is not quite as funny as the first, another fact they aren’t afraid to make a joke about, but as comedy sequels go, it doesn’t get much better than this. It’s unfortunate, but probably for the best, that the filmmakers have stated they won’t be making another. However, the final credit sequence mines all the humor gold that any extra sequels could have possibly provided, bringing this reviewer to tears with laughter, which alone is easily worth the price of admission.