Jungle
22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street

Movie
Studio(s): 
In Theatres: 
Jun 13, 2014
Grade:
A+
Running Time: 
112 minutes

Comedies and sequels rarely go hand-in-hand together. Ghostbusters will always be better than Ghostbusters II. The Hangover will always be better than The Hangover II. The Nutty Professor will always be better than The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The list of comedy sequels that outlaugh their original is short. 22 Jump Street manages to do the seemingly impossible and is not only a hilarious comedy sequel but also eclipses the original in almost every manner while still sticking to the same elements that made the first film so great.

After successfully infiltrating high school and uncovering one of the largest drug rings the police force has ever seen, Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are back on the streets. Their time is short lived, however, after a bust goes horribly wrong and the criminals get away. Once again, they put back on the Jump Street program under Captain Dickson’s (Ice Cube) command and are forced to repeat the same assignment they previously did, only this time it’s college.

22 Jump Street is well aware of the onus that plagues comedy sequels and not only addresses the issues but embraces them. The film is very self-referential. In one of the opening scenes, Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) discusses how the budget for the police department has doubled due to the success of Jenko and Schmidt’s previous work, but that it would be ludicrous to expect double the results the second time around. Jenko and Schmidt also continually comment about how what they’re doing in this new assignment is essentially the exact same thing they did before. The film is very blatant in addressing that it’s a sequel and it works amazingly well.

That part of the reason why 22 Jump Street is so hilarious. It knows exactly what it is and isn’t afraid to mock itself. Yes, it’s basically the same format as before only in a different locale, but the humor is on point and Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill bring out the best in each other. There are also very few lulls in the film. Just when things start to get borderline repetitive, there always seems to some unexpected turn right around the corner. The film succeeds where other comedy sequels have failed.

As ridiculous and over-the-top 22 Jump Street is, the film delivers a constant barrage of laughs. It’s the perfect buddy cop movie or the perfect romantic comedy between two dudes. 22 Jump Street breaks convention and goes all out, resulting in one of the best comedies of the year.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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