They’re baaaack, and they’re slower, clumsier and more incompetent than ever! Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill make a triumphant return to Jump St as the brains-and-brawn duo Schmidt and Jenko, the undercover policemen who somehow manage to do everything wrong, but in all the right ways. In 22 Jump Street, they boys have graduated from high school and have their sights set on a local college, where the latest youth craze, a drug called WHY-PHY, has already claimed its first victim. In order to rid the campus of this dangerous drug, the boys must do everything exactly the same as they did in 21 Jump Street; same undercover identities, same game-plan, even the same gunshot wounds. Exactly. The same. In every way.
Despite multiple gags acknowledging that this movie is exactly the same as 21 Jump Street (exactly the same), in fact 22 Jump Street is even better than its predecessor. Yes, the plots may be indistinguishable from each other, and yes, a lot of the jokes do reoccur, but this time screenwriter Michael Bacall has produced a wittier script. Don’t worry, it is still littered with f-bombs and penis jokes! But its sharper and more clever than the first, with a broader range of humour that mixes your basic slapstick with some more mature, self-referential comedy. The entire movie is really just mocking itself, to a degree never-before-seen in blockbusters of its kind. It is a rather modern way of film-making, and has hilarious results.
There’s a good reason why this sequel got the green light, and I believe that reason is Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. The pair look as if they were born to act together, bouncing off each other effortlessly to create some killer comedic timing. Their on-screen chemistry is so palpable that the writers have run with it, making them out to be an old married couple, bickering about their relationship, but ultimately having each other’s backs. Also noteworthy is Ice Cube, returning to his role as the overbearing Captain Dickson, who plays a larger role this time around and is involved in some of the funniest scenes of the movie. My only qualms with the film is the sometimes repetitious nature of the jokes, which got a little tired as the film progressed. In particular, the gags concerning Schmidt and Jenko’s bromance were laid on a little heavy towards the end of the movie.
22 Jump Street isn’t a film that’s going to use up much of your brain power (if anything, it’ll probably kill a few brain cells), but its perfect if you are looking for a comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The movie is thoroughly entertaining, and when you’re not laughing yourself stupid at Hill and Tatum’s complete idiocy, the action sequences dispersed throughout will keep you excited. It’s ridiculousness pushed to the absolute limit, but it’s the kind that everyone can get on board with.
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