Review: 22 Jump Street

Sequel to the widely successful 21 Jump Street (2012), starring Channing Tatum as Jenko/Brad, Jonah Hill as Schmidt/Doug, Wyatt Russell as Zook, Ice Cube as Captain Dickson, Peter Stormare as The Ghost, Nick Offerman as Deputy Chief Hardy, Amber Stevens as Dickson’s daughter Maya, The Lucas Brothers as the Yang Brothers (twins credited as one? First time I’ve ever seen that happen!), and Jillian Bell as Mercedes.

Jonah Hill;Channing Tatum
For the first time in probably ever, the sequel’s even better than the first film. So if you liked the first one you’re gonna LOVE this one. Guaranteed. There’s a whole line of jokes revolving around the fact that this is a sequel: they expected the first one to flop but it didn’t so now they get a higher budget, unexplained car chase scenes and destruction of property, and new headquarters right across the street from their old haunt that look like they came out of the Avengers. Everyone you know and love from the first film is back for this, from James Franco’s little brother Dave, to the geeks Jenko befriended, to the rest of the undercover squad. Even the case is deliberately similar to the case in 21: identify the dealer, find the supplier. Except for one snag: this time the chucklehead cops who can’t do a single thing right find themselves in college. Jenko immediately sinks back into the jock role, befriending an entire fraternity through showing off his physical prowess. Schmidt is obviously lacking in the department, so he approaches the investigation in a more subdued and intellectual way—through actual police work (and the help of some art students). The differences between them drive a wedge in their partnership, and their relationship is tested in various comical and emotional ways. The bromance is not only addressed, but reinforced. And in the words of Jenko: “it’s 2014, dude. Gay is okay.” They naturally end up inadvertently taking the drug they’re trying to investigate, and that leads to some hilarious antics involving really high tech police gear and vodka guns (don’t ask). Schmidt even finds some romance in the face of beautiful and artsy Maya, who (spoilers!) is revealed to be their scary captain’s daughter. Shenanigans and stun guns ensue. You do not want to miss this. Without spoiling it too much, let’s just say there’s a classic misunderstanding plot twist somewhere down the ¾ line, and we think it’s all over, and it’s sad but also really funny. But it all turns out okay. A helicopter explodes in midair above the shoreline of Mexico. Ladies in bikinis and dudes in Hawaiian shirts cheer in excitement. All ends in hilarity and multiple jokes about infinite more sequels. You’ll wanna stay for the credits and the tiny clip at the end. Overall, the film exploits the success of the first one and builds up on it instead of relying on it, which is how all sequels should really be. It has its own humour, and the extra budget works in their favour, as does the fact that no characters in this are minors. It’s relaxed, it’s funny, it’s all about friendship and partnership and working with one’s strengths, and it’s just a really good time.

The verdict: Giving this ★★★★★ and my blessing.

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