22 Jump Street: Film Review – A buddy-cop movie where things go BOOM!

Every sequel is just a money-making machine, designed to maximize and capitalize on the first film. The story gets the standard treatment, but the budget gets bigger. There are more gags and gimmicks and ridiculous plot holes. So imagine my trepidation when I was faced with 22 Jump Street. But once the film started, all that worry went out the window. This movie doesn’t take itself seriously. It is a comedy that pokes fun at itself, the genre and a whole lot of other tropes (which we will get to in a bit). Chris Miller and Phil Lord get in the director’s seat and whoosh, we are Jump Street (forgive the parlance, I have been wanting to say that for a while). With Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, we get our buddy cops back. And in their next adventure, they be heading to college, yo! (Again, forgive the parlance, couldn’t help myself.)

 
The film is funny. It isn’t a serious buddy-cop movie. The emphasis is on making you realize the little details about the silliness in making a sequel about a movie that was based on a ’90s TV show. But hey, they did it. Try to pick up on the references to the movie being a sequel. Trust me, you might miss a few. It is a movie where the story seems the same, the plot seems the same, the character development is the same but wait, where is the twist, you ask. Hold on to your hats, even the twist is the same. The clincher is the delivery, or the way it is packaged. The movie takes slick shots at the film industry and you will smile wryly because you will get the joke. Of course, we have the standard over-drinking references and the running around and the notion of growth. In fact, all of the college movie tropes. Then again, when you see it, it will fit. There is a natural feel to all of this.
 
22 Jump Street opens with a new assignment for Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill). They are going to college. They have to report to their angry black captain (Ice Cube) and find out about a new drug ring. That is the basic premise. In other words, the same d@#% thing they did the last time. Jenko and Schmidt have to figure out their own identities and learn to be adults and support one another like grown-ups. Sounds familiar? That’s because it is the same thing as every other college film. Throw in Peter Stormare as an evil Russian mobster and lo, you have the villain. Now, were you reading very carefully? So this is a reminder, don’t think it is the same. Sit back and let the movie just build up speed. The twists and turns will be fun and you will laugh at the gags and the movie industry. You may expect the big explosions, the car chases and the gun-play, but you won’t expect the subtle way it pokes fun at the homoerotic overtones of other buddy-cop films. The movie makes you stop and think. 22 Jump Street will make you wonder about the seriousness of comedy and not taking yourself too seriously. On the whole, a movie where the laughs are had all round but for the odd reasons, for the silliness of it all.
 
Why should you watch this film
This is a funny film where the humor is defined not by what gets the most obvious laughs, but by the tongue-in-cheek wit that runs rampant. This isn’t a serious movie. You are encouraged to laugh at the way the movie industry takes itself so seriously. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill make a fantastic team of opposites. This notion is played with and then turned on its head. Watch for when it happens. Ice Cube is alright. He makes all the right noises. But hey, it is the Tatum-Hill duo you must watch out for. You will have a silly grin on your face and the laughs will be hearty. So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets and yell out: “Something Cool!” (P.S.: You will get the joke when you watch the film.)

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