Friday, June 13, 2014
Movie Review: ’22 Jump Street’
Rated R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence
Article first published as Movie Review: ’22 Jump Street’ on Blogcritics.
When it was announced that Jonah Hill was working on a big screen adaptation of the 1980s Johnny Depp TV show 21 Jump Street, few thought it was a good idea. Once directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were announced it was even more confusing since their only prior film was the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Would the directors’ level of insanity translate from a kid-friendly production to a hard-R rated comedy theatrical reboot? The answer was thankfully yes, as 21JS wound up being one of the smartest and funniest comedies of 2012. Now, Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back in 22 Jump Street — a sequel that’s bigger, funnier, and even smarter than the first.
I won’t spoil the amazing opening title sequence so we’ll dive in right after that as we find Schmidt and Jenko working the beat as bonafide police officers. They have tracked down a drug kingpin known as The Ghost (Peter Stomare) to a warehouse where everything goes awry and The Ghost escapes. Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) calls the two into his office and tells him that he is convinced they work better undercover and assigns them back to the Jump Street program, once again under the command of Captain Dickson. Now, Schmidt and Jenko are headed to infiltrate Metro City State College to find out who’s peddling a new drug called “WHYPHY” — pronounced WiFi. Meanwhile, the dynamic duo tries to find the perp by faking their way through college life filled with fraternity initiations, open mic nights, and “meat”-cutes.
Could 22 Jump Street be any funnier? Not a chance in hell. This is hands down the funniest film of the year so far and one of the funniest films I have ever seen period. Every scene is laugh-till-you-cry hilarious with Miller and Lord piling on joke after joke well into the end credits. Make sure you stick around and watch out for some amazing cameos. There has never been a comedy sequel that outdoes the original film in such an awesome way — here’s looking at you Hangover II. Screenwriters Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, and Rodney Rothman fill 22JS with tons of meta jokes, even going so far as to spoof itself. It also happens to be one of the best bromances put on film. And just when you think the film can’t get any funnier, the next scene comes along and pounds through the roof with something even bigger and funnier than the last. If you were to see only one comedy this year, it has to be 22 Jump Street.
Photo courtesy Sony Pictures