I really enjoyed 21 Jump Street – the TV show, which ran on Fox from 1987 through 1991, and launched the careers of many young actors, including Johnny Depp, and Holly Robinson (you’re welcome, Hanging with Mr. Cooper fans). The premise of the show was that young-looking cops would go undercover in high school to handle some serious issues. Because of that, I was really hesitant to get on board with the re-imagining that was 2012’s movie version. However, it was really funny, due mainly to some great writing from Jonah Hill, and the great chemistry between Hill and Channing Tatum – not to mention some great cameos from the show’s original stars.
Because that one was so funny, and was a pretty big hit, it’s no surprised that we are now blessed with a sequel, cleverly titled 22 Jump Street. Incidentally, one of the genius bits of this movie is the complete self-awareness at the fact that a sequel is being made. They make a joke that they are wanted to the exact same thing they did last time, that their address has shifted across the street to 22 Jump Street, and that next year they will probably move back over to 23 Jump Street.
Again, there are some really great jokes. I didn’t laugh as continuously all the way through as I did with the first one, but it was still really funny. Hill’s Schmidt and Tatum’s Jenko have to go undercover again, this time at college, to bust a drug ring. Flipping it this time, Jenko is the popular one when he quickly gets involved with frat life, and Schmidt is the one who feels left out – his ‘walk of shame’ moment is really funny. They follow their leads and find their suspect while destroying then rebuilding their relationship; exactly the same as the first one. Really – that’s about it as far as plot is concerned. The rest is comedy hijinks.
This movie is directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who did the first Jump Street movie as well as the Lego Movie…and that’s why Superman and Green Lantern are hilarious in the Lego Movie – it’s Tatum and Hill. The action sequences are fun, and the laughs are rapid, but there were just way too many jokes about how the partners’ relationship is just a bit too close – which was funny one time, but then over and over gets really dull. Also – forgive me for being a chick on this one, but really, just too many dick/fart/drinking/frat type jokes. Yawn. I’d rather clever humor over that any day. It was fun to have the cameo from Rob Riggle and Dave Franco from the first movie (honestly a cameo is about all the Rob Riggle I can handle, and even the cameo started to wear a little thin), but honestly, the funniest part of the movie is the fake clips/posters for upcoming Jump Street sequels that feature more cameos and more fun stuff (24 Jump Street – Culinary School!).
- Jonah Hill is still proving that he can do a low-brow comedy between Oscar Nominations. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he’s talented. And yes, I do believe there is an Oscar in his future. In this, he’s boring and average, and that’s exactly the point. His final physical fight with the bad ‘guy’ is hilarious.
- Channing Tatum is still really good looking, and I for one am thrilled that he just got confirmed to play Gambit. He does a good job this playing Jenko as the complete meat-head, and his genuine happiness when he gets asked to join a frat is hilarious.
- Peter Stomare is essentially just playing the same Peter Stomare character you’ve seen before as the big bad drug dealer in this, no surprise, he’s good at that. He’s best at playing a crazed villain.
- Wyatt Russell (Kurt’s son) plays Zook, the frat guy who instantly bonds with Jenko, causing a rift for both his best friend and for Schmidt. He’s certainly capable and pulls off ‘dumb guy’ pretty well.
- Amber Stevens plays Maya, the pretty poetry girl that Schmidt hooks up with, except – spoiler alert – she’s also their captain’s daughter, so that allows for some funny nonsense after he finds out.
- Ice Cube once again plays the ‘angry black captain’ with perfect enthusiasm. Also – the fact that when they first enter his new office they say it looks like a cube of ice is a good quick joke. He does get to go crazy on a buffet server who does not give him enough green beans, which I found pretty funny.
- The Lucas Brothers, identical twin comedians play identical twins Keith and Kenny in the movie. They are in the dorm room across from Jenko and Schmidt and they get some really funny twin stuff to do.
- Nick Offerman plays the same Deputy Chief role he did last time, and it is equally as funny this time around.
- Jillian Bell steals this movie as the crazy roommate of the dead girl they come in to investigate. She is deadpan flat with her delivery, and as more of her character is revealed, she quickly becomes one of the funniest pieces of this movie.
All in all, funny, but not nearly as hilarious as the first one. The post credit sequence was great, but what I really wanted was a gag reel. Oh well, perhaps on the Blue Ray?
7 out of 10 – the first one was an 8. Gained points for the self-awareness on the sequel bit, but lost points on just way too much repetitive humor. Gained points for their trip-out sequence, which was one of the funniest moments in the first one, and is again here. Lost points for just way too much Rob Riggle at 11. I could have used him at about a 6. Loud and disgusting doesn’t usually equal funny. Gained big points for the college prep scene where the duo go over the things they will need.
Bonus Video 1: The Lego Movie Trailer – if you haven’t seen this, it just got released on DVD/BluRay. See it now.
Bonus Video 2: This is the trailer for the new Wachowski Sibling project Jupiter Ascending, starring Channing Tatum as a space wolf-man. It was supposed to be out this summer, and has recently been pushed to early next year – not a good sign, but then, after you watch this trailer, you’ll understand why. It looks terrible.
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews