22 Jump Street - 7.5 / 10
"Someone get the man some water. He's black, he's been through a lot!" - Schmidt
When “21 Jump Street” hit theaters in 2012, not many expected it to leave such a mark in the comedy side of last 3-5 years. With recent action-comedy adaptations like “Get Smart” and “The A-Team” receiving mixed critical reviews, it stood to reason that “21 Jump Street” might follow in the same footsteps.
Let's be honest; was any of us really prepared for how absolutely hysterical "21 Jump Street" was? I know I wasn't. So, since I laughed my face off (and paid millions of dollars in surgery to have a new face put in, that I regret wasn't Nicolas Cage's face - yes, this is a “Face/Off” reference/joke, get over it), i said that this new one it's a must see.
However, directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord managed to craft a potent comedy, creating a film that earned some of the best reviews of the year. Anchored by the all-star duo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, the film would go on to earn over $200 million at the domestic box office alone. It was only a matter of time until the executives at Columbia and MGM decided to turn this fluke into a franchise, calling on a sequel for the box office smash.
Like I was saying, I was very surprised when I saw “21 Jump Street” as I didn't have very high hopes for it. It was hilarious, had very likable characters and a good plot. Since I enjoyed it so much, I was extremely happy to hear there was a sequel coming. Since Miller and Lord did an excellent job with the first film and “The Lego Movie”, I had very high hopes for this film, but what I got was a plot that was too similar to the first and the same jokes repeated over and over again.
This film constantly acknowledges the fact that it's a sequel to a movie that was kind of an unexpected success, and it uses that to essentially make the same film again. But that's the joke.
With a premise surrounding the reoccurring, self-aware joke, "do the same thing as last time and people will be happy", "22 Jump Street" takes the attractive yet dumb cop (Channing Tatum) and comically weird looking but smart cop (Jonah Hill) and moves them from 21 Jump St. across the street to 22 Jump St.; a new building which is acknowledged (in a very tongue-in-cheek manner) as having a much more expensive look for absolutely no reason.
First off it's very predictable, and the character development is taken directly from the first Jump Street. As much as I thought I knew what was coming, most of the funny scenes were not spoiled by trailers. Which is definitely refreshing to hear about a comedy, especially in these days.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have really good chemistry here. Both are very funny and the film is quite aware of their chemistry. There's a gag throughout the whole film that is essentially a bromance that treats their relationship as police officers and partners as a real relationship.
There's scenes that you would see in a romance film but are played for laughs because they are between Tatum and Hill. These work well because of the chemistry and it's quite funny. It's funny to me because I would have never though that a G.I. Joe and that kid from "Superbad" would one day be hilarious as hell together in an action- comedy, yet here we are. They bounce off each other really well, and I'm certain there's plenty of times where their lines are improv and it's completely seamless. They're great together and I hope they do another series or something after the Jump Street movies because they are so brilliant as a duo. It's quite hard to imagine better casting for the roles of Jenko and Schmidt. Tatum and Hill appear to have been working together for decades, honing an act to impeccable heights, so good is their banter.
As mentioned before, the movie is quite self aware about how it's just a rehash of the first movie, and they make it work. Also an end credits sequence essentially seals the deal with this whole running joke.
Between the two however, it's likely that you'll fall in love with Tatum, who has never been more puppy-dog lovable - and as an excellent case in point, his blissful thickness can't quite get more amusing than his delivery of a line about Cate Blanchett or 'carte blanche' in actual fact.
The surprising humorous twist was the additional screen time Ice Cube's character, captain Dickson got in the sequel.
Now Ice Cube was one of the biggest surprises to me in this film because I have never like him as an actor. He played up the angry black captain stereotype in the first film and it did all right for him. But what I realize now is that I didn't care because he just started off angry and never had motive. In this film they give him reason to be the angry black captain and that pushes into hilarity. Now I love his character and would watch a whole movie with him. It's just a good example how character development does add to an audience's enjoyment with a film.
Why, after what I said above, I didn’t give a bigger score ? Because somewhere at the end, the movie just gets painful to watch in some scenes, because of the script and the surreal things they do. I know that this is still a “remake” of a 70’s show, but some scenes are downright silly.
The last thing I think I can say is that the action in this movie is bigger than the last one, and overall better. There are more jokes while the fights are happening and it's all actual realistic conversations I've imagined real people would have if they got into that sort of fight, for example. There's one which makes fun of a really old cliché really well and it was one of the funniest scenes of the whole movie, that's all I'm going to say.
So in the end, was "22 Jump Street" enjoyable? Yes. Was it better than the first? No. Was it a rehash? Definitely! But it did redeem itself a little bit by acknowledging that fact.