Film Review: 22 Jump Street

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22 Jump Street is a sequel to the surprise 2012 hit, 21 Jump Street. The original picture and its follow-up are loosely based on the television show, 21 Jump Street, from the 80s and 90s. Both projects star Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as police officer partners who have practically nothing in common. In the first film the odd couple went undercover in a high school and in its follow up they once again go undercover, but this time in college. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller directed 22 Jump Street and they also served as directors on 21. The filmmaking duo had huge success earlier this year with The Lego Movie.

21 Jump Street worked so well as an action-comedy primarily because of the great chemistry between Hill and Tatum. Their relationship dynamic is once again the highlight in the sequel. Hill shines as a performer when he has room to play and improvise. Lord and Miller know how to capitalize on the skills of their talented actor and Hill’s comedic timing is showcased perfectly. Tatum once again sort of makes fun of his on-screen persona in 22. 21 Jump Street showed a comedic side of the heartthrob that he never really got the chance to put on display prior. 22 once again proves that Tatum can be a great funnyman when given the chance.

The first Jump Street was a surprise hit and one of the funnier films released in the past 10 years. 22 definitely contains plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but it does not feel as fresh as its predecessor. That problem is of course a natural one for any sequel to face. The action scenes are a little clunky and that may be attributed to the relatively low budget of the film. The directors may also not necessarily be proficient in capturing on-screen action at this point in their careers. The sequel is filled with inside jokes and winks to the audience. At times the “meta” like moments become a bit too much. The cast and crew definitely wants everyone to know they are aware of the fact that making a sequel to a movie that was based on a cheesy 80’s cop show is ridiculous. Those nods are sometimes a lot of fun—other times they go too far and take the viewer out of the picture.

22 Jump Street is a worthy follow up to 21 Jump Street and definitely delivers an entertaining time at the theater. There are a lot of hilarious moments and more than a few genuine surprises in 22. It is exactly the type of picture you want to see in the summer and will have you eagerly awaiting the next Jump Street theatrical adventure.

Rating: B

 

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