22 Jump Street (2014)
Director: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube
Plot: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Genre: Action / Comedy
Rating: R21 / M18 (cut!) for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence.
IN RETROSPECT (Spoilers: NO)
"He's black! He's been through a lot!"
A second dose of essentially the same formulaic fare as provided by the first installment 21 Jump Street (2012) sort of works as a familiar experience with the casual moviegoer, but behind its fail-safe storyline, 22 Jump Street doesn’t quite promise much except a fun outing with your brothers.
Certain sequels develop the characters and push the narrative further, hoping to evoke a deeper, more transcendent experience. Others are merely contend with repetition, which is fair enough from box-office and audience familiarity standpoints. However, there are some sequels that make us wish we hadn’t seen them in the first place.
You will be glad to know that 22 Jump Street doesn’t fit that last mould. It works pretty well with repetition, but despite being more of the same, it can feel a tad less vigourously funny and entertaining. It’s natural to feel that way. It’s the law of the second helping.
Starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Jenko and Schmidt respectively, the duo reprise their roles as undercover cops infiltrating a college to nab students responsible for selling drugs. It is also their (second) chance to go to college. Jenko finds himself a like-minded friend and becomes a school sports star, while Schmidt takes the lonely route and gets acquainted with an art major girl in more ways than one.
There’s a subplot involving the girl, which I will leave you to discover, providing the movie with more laughs than what Tatum and Hill could conjure between themselves. There’s still that bromance chemistry, but Hill is the stronger actor. He can make us laugh on his own, but we are not so confident of Tatum’s ability to do so.
22 Jump Street throws realism out of the window in the opening action sequence involving the duo on top of a moving truck. It’s like The Three Stooges. And then completes the cycle with a delirious climax involving a helicopter.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who both helmed the first installment, and believe it or not, The Lego Movie (2014) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009), 22 Jump Street is a wild ride that is every bit as sexually vulgar as the first. Its comic moments don’t always work, but it should give you a good, naughty time at the cinemas.
Verdict: More of the same, but a tad less vigourously funny and entertaining than the first installment.
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