22 JUMP STREET

22_jump_street_poster_2-620x921Strained, repetitious and overlong, with two running gags hammered home hard enough to smash the nail right through the wood. 22JS continually steps outside of itself to nudge-wink joke about the plot being the same as the first movie, about the sequel’s larger budget, and about the need to keep the franchise going (this last, probably the funniest thing in the movie, comes at the end with a look ahead to future installments up through “40 JUMP STREET” and beyond). The other gag is the bromance that, while platonic, is played out with every dialog cliche from an actual love affair (hurt feelings, jealousies, experiments with an “open” relationship) that quickly wears thin and makes you wish that Channing and Jonah would just get a room already. Tatum and Hill are funny men, with great chemistry even in reduced material, and Tatum especially gets to use his physicality in both leaping action scenes and dancing (the latter during a “trippy” drug-induced freak-out). I did enjoy the second nod to ANNIE HALL’s lobster scene, the performance of Jillian Bell as a bitch of a college roommate, and Tatum’s (literally) hysterical reaction to a revelation about Ice Cube’s daughter. But mostly the movie pulls muscles overstraining for laughs, and by the time you’ve had enough, there’s still a trip to Mexico and an extended windup that seems to last as long as Spring Break. — Jeff Schultz

 

The surprise for me in 21 JUMP STREET was Channing Tatum. He turned out to have great comic timing and fantastic chemistry with Jonah Hill. So, I was really looking forward to 22 JUMP STREET. I was not disappointed. The sequel is unbelievably hilarious. I may have to go see it again to catch some jokes I missed because I was laughing so much. Jenko and Schmidt are back, but this time they are heading to college to bust a drug ring. And they are doing “what worked the first time”. Something that’s pointed out endlessly by Tatum and Hill, and Ice Cube and Nick Offerman and just about anyone else who cares to bring it up. They are also talking about the film. Why mess with a great formula.. give us more of the same hysterical banter, outrageous situations and great buddy comedy. (I’m looking at you “THE HANGOVER”) It’s also pointed out over and over that they have more money to spend on the movie and on their crime fighting efforts, but obviously they went over budget and that was cleverly written into the script too. It kind of clubs the audience over the head a lot of the time, but no one in the theater seemed to mind— including me. You can complain about leaps of logic and the sophomoric nature of a lot of the humor, but neither 22JS or 21JS ever pretended to be high minded. You want intelligent, thoughtful humor then watch a classic Woody Allen or Wes Anderson movie. This kind of movie puts the jokes right in front of you, drops its comedic pants and says, “go ahead and laugh, or don’t… but we know you want to laugh.”  Everyone is funny, but Tatum and Hill, Jillian Bell  and Rob Riggle stand out above the rest. The sequence of sequels at the start of the closing credits is hilarious (with a few excellent cameos), and make sure you stay for the post credits scene). It’s nice to go to a movie and simply laugh your ass off without pretension or conscience. And that’s exactly the kind of catharsis you get from 22JS! — Alan Yudman

Lots of people complained when The Hangover 2 came out that “it was the same movie”. When the third one did something totally different, they complained “it didn’t feel like a Hangover movie”…and it sucked. That being said, 22 Jump Street lets us know right off the bat it’s not reinventing the wheel…it’s more of the same. And you know what? That’s okay with me! Tatum and Hill are not afraid to be the butts of the joke (Magic Mike even lets Hill make fun of his bomb “White House Down”) and in a wink wink to the audience, they keep reminding us not to be too critical because “it’s exactly the same”. Just like the second Hangover, the point is to give audiences what they want and I thought it was a lot of fun. And kudos for the closing credits which takes shots at all the actors and Hollywood, when we get a peek at the next 15 or so sequels…take a ride down this street, you won’t be disappointed. — Stormy Curry

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