Tuesday, June 17, 2014

22 Jump Street

"Sun's Out Guns Out"

I have been long awaiting the release of 22 Jump Street, the action-comedy sequel to 21 Jump Street (2012). I loved the first one. Jonah Hill is hilarious, and pairing with Channing Tatum was genius.

So first let me say that a sequel to a riotous comedy like this usually formulaic. I've seen it a million times. The first is a hoot; the second pretty much just recycles the same jokes. Big disappointment. That was not the case with 22 Jump Street. The creators seemed hyper-aware of this phenomenon and actually made a huge joke out of it. That's right, 22 Jump Street is NOT 21 Jump Street recycled. This was probably the biggest and best joke of all.

The film starts with Schmidt and Jenko (Hill, Tatum) on an investigation into an online university. Boring. That's what they were, completely bored. There's a few good laughs, then Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) recalls them and sends them on a new investigation to an actual university. They resume their former identities of Doug and Brad McQuaid, enroll in Metro City State University and proceed to repeat everything they did in their first investigation. Cue the jokes about rebooting their first investigation. And for the most part, the film starts to play out like the first one.

But then they throw us for a few loops. 

In 21 Jump Street, I liked how they made fun of just about every high school cliche:  Prom, popularity, awkwardness, etc. They do the same thing in 22. There were fraternities, slam poetry readings, football, awkward first sexual experiences, goofy/bizarre professors, and SPRING BREAK!!! You know, everything college was to most people. I would honestly say that if you went to college, any college, you'd have a few laughs with this one.

There were a couple of things I didn't like about the film. The jokes seemed to run out of steam about halfway in. Being that it is a action-comedy, there was that requirement to have car chases, gun fights, and ridiculous antics. But I found myself a little bored later into the film. That is until the end, when it was an all out open season on sequel jokes. That was one of the best parts, making fun of how ridiculous Hollywood is about sequels.

This is me and Val Kilmer

I liked 22 Jump Street. I'd definitely see it again, but I didn't love it like I loved 21 Jump Street. So I'm giving a split rating. First half:  9 stars. Second half:  6.

Oh, and Richard Grieco appears in the end. Cheers.