Directors: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill & Ice Cube Synopsis: “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.” Rating: 15 Runtime: 112 minutes
“We Jump Street, and we ’bout to jump in yo ass.”
The follow-up to 2012’s very successful 21 Jump Street is one part movie and one part complete self parody. Taking all the ideas from the first movie and recycling them all again was a risky move, but one that does pay off, and that results in one of the funniest films of the year.
The film starts off with a nice little recap of the events from 21 Jump Street, quickly skimming through what happened in case any audience members failed to see the first film. This neat little scene is also a cute attempt to poke a little fun at the franchises origins when itself, was a TV show.
We soon feel at home as Jenko and Schmidt are on our screens again. The two are already in way over their heads as they attempt to crack a drug cartel, but they are quickly foiled by an octopus and Schmidt’s athletic inability. If that sounds mad, wait until you see what they get up to in the rest of the film. This mishap leads to our heroes being reassigned back to the Jump Street project, and in turn going to college to stop a drug ring.
Sound familiar? Well, that’s because it is. 22 Jump Street makes no attempt to do things differently the second time around. In fact, the only thing that is different is the amount of money they have to spend which results in some bigger action set pieces and a, very knowing, running joke about how sequels have to be bigger and, hopefully, better when more money is thrown at them.
If that doesn’t sound like your type of thing, or you weren’t particularly swayed by the first film then you are unlikely to feel differently about its sequel. If however, you do have a sense of humour then you will enjoy 22 Jump Street immensely.
Not much time will pass in this movie without a gag of some sorts. Whether it be physical, a one-liner or breaking the fourth wall, 22 Jump Street has a laugh factor that not many other comedies can compete with.
It is not afraid to poke fun at itself either. With both stars willing to be part of the joke, there is some wonderful interplay between the two. Hill and Tatum share a chemistry that makes you wonder why they weren’t paired together sooner. Tatum has grown as a comedy actor and enjoys taking a few digs at himself, even going as far as to send up one of his own recent movies, and has one scene that is surely to be a contender for scene of the year.
Hill has always been a talented comic, but he seems to be more assured now, completely comfortable in his role as the social outcast again. Hill brings an emotion to his role, and for a film that is largely just an excuse to tell one joke after another, his poise in certain scenes really makes you feel for him.
The show stopper though, has to be Ice Cube, with his performance as Captain Dickson being a foul-mouthed delight. The man is anger personified, and one scene in particular had the whole audience in stitches at the screening I went to. Every time he is on-screen, you just know a verbal tirade is about to be handed down to someone.
Chris Lord and Phil Miller once again prove themselves to be an extremely talented pair of directors. Moving between Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, to The Lego Movie and the Jump Street franchise in between shows how varied their short career has already been. As with all their films there is charm and, dare I say, an innocence to proceedings and a complete self-awareness of what they are doing but that is something that never hampers the audiences enjoyment.
They keep the laughs coming, and even manage to handle the action scenes better this time around. The action may be cartoon in its nature, but its something that really compliments the movie and just adds to the enjoyment level even further.
I found it impossible not to love 22 Jump Street. With its two likable leads, plenty of gags and references to other films that will surely be picked up on more after multiple viewings, 22 Jump Street could be the perfect summer blockbuster.
In summary: 22 Jump Street reunites us with our two favourite dim-witted police officers, throws some more money at them, ups the amount of laughs and results in one of the best comedies of the year.