Review: 22 Jump Street
PLOT: Officers Jenko and Schmidt are back and ready for some action after surviving high school for the second time. Much like the first, the two are investigating a deadly drug, this time hitting the local college campus. Undercover, they attempt to discover the identity of the drug dealer, and how much of their department’s budget they will waste to stop them and catch the bad guy.
REVIEW: When last we saw Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill), they had faced high school head-on, looked cool, and caught a few bad guys. Villains beware, because the 21 JUMP STREET officers are back, in the sequel appropriately titled, 22 JUMP STREET – fitting, because the building is across the street from the Korean church they set up shop the last time. In fact, this highly Meta flick plays on the fact that it is a sequel numerous times. Familiarly, when Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) assigns them back to the same old, same old, we are reminded that the budget is bigger and we should be seeing the same thing… only much larger in scale. Thankfully Phil Lord and Christopher Miller shake things up again for a ridiculously funny part two.
When another drug is hitting campuses, the two Jump Street officers are returning back to school. This time however, they give it the old college try to investigate the accidental death of a young student. Once inside, Jenko easily makes friends with a couple of guys on the football team, including a possible new BFF/suspect named Zook (Wyatt Russell). For Schmidt, he makes a splash at an open mic poetry reading with a lovely young lady named Maya (Amber Stevens). After going up to her dorm room he has a disastrous meeting with Maya’s sullen roommate Mercedes (Jillian Bell). The closer they get to the fellow students the more the old partners clash with each other while trying to maintain their undercover status.
The energy starts on high when we are reminded of what happened “Last time on Jump Street” The filmmakers have a whole lot of fun with this second film and just how they embark on continuing the story. The self-referential hilarity comes FAST AND FURIOUS – one of the many non-Jump Street nods – and it works nearly every single time. Occasionally the reminders that this is part two start to lose a little humor, but that is a very rare occurrence. The screenplay, credited to Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman, generally manages to make the familiar story work.
For the first half of the film we are constantly reminded that you need to do the same thing as you did before. The officers are investigating a similar case and the clues seem to point at the usual suspects. Thankfully this changes as the film progresses and as much as they play with that concept, it is obvious they are going to be taking the sequel in a slightly different direction. At times the repetitive nature is a bit tedious but the jokes generally remain intact. There are several hilariously funny sequences that poke fun at buddy cop films in general, as well the original film and series.
As directors, Lord and Miller continue to give this feature an energized look, including the wildly creative car chase sequences or the informative moment where the boys expand on what is needed to live in a dorm. The use of split-screen and other inventive gags are especially creative throughout and make for one hell of a dynamic sequel. As they mention often enough during the film, they seemingly had a bigger budget to play with and it sure looks like it.
It is impossible to imagine that both Tatum and Hill are not having the time of their life with these characters. Much like Lord and Miller, the two are very aware of the joke and they embrace the craziness. The on-screen chemistry is ridiculously great as the two go through their modern day bromance as any couple would. Add to that a very game Ice Cube who gets much more to do this time around, and you really couldn’t ask for a better cast. Speaking of the rest of the talent, the cameos are all over the place and they all work especially well. To spoil any of them would be a disservice, but a couple of my favorites come in during the end credits. Other stand-outs include Wyatt Russell (Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s son) and as usual, Peter Stormare. This guy can play a baddie like nobody else.
22 JUMP STREET is exactly the sequel we could have hoped for. Tatum and Hill are a terrific twosome still enjoying the hell out of the ride. And this year, after the success of THE LEGO MOVIE and this R-rated sequel, it seems that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are unstoppable. And if you stay for the credits you get a few clever ideas for what may be next for Jenko and Schmidt. 22 JUMP STREET is a hilarious continuation that successfully builds on what the first started.
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...