Review: 22 Jump Street

So this is a sequel? You know, just thought I would ask. It’s not like they hammered it in, or anything.

Oh wait, they totally did.

Grr….

So a few years ago, I watched a little movie called 21 Jump Street. A movie about a duo of dysfunctional cops who are recruited to track down a drug. Which is being spread around a high school, and killing kids.

The joke was, that to do this, they dressed up as high school students, and had to be incognito the entire time.

It opened up a lot of jokes about the current generation, in addition to using slap stick humor and copious amounts of swearing. It quickly became a smash hit. Being one of the only good comedies to come out in a long time.

I liked it. It did not rock my world or anything, but I enjoyed a lot of the humor. At least the adult jokes anyway. For you see, I have a bit of a problem with high school comedies. The main issue, is that I just don’t have the right sort of experience for the jokes to work on me. I have never been to a public high school, nor do I plan to. So some of the situations just seem a bit foreign to me.

But then the sequel was announced, and it was set in college, with more adult characters. With the jokes instead being from that mindset.

It takes a lot to make me laugh, and this movie made me laugh so hard in the theater, that I got dirty looks.

Taking place a few months after the events of the first film, it still focuses on the same dynamic duo that we learned to love from the first one. Who, this time around, are going to college. To track down a drug called WHYFY.

From there, the movie decides to see how many gags and call backs they can cram into one film.

From an epic chase around the Benjamin Hill Film School, to continuous overt gay jokes about the two main characters. This movie throws so many things at the wall, and has a surprising amount of them stick.

The second joke I mentioned is actually the crux of the movie. Throughout, they make constant jokes about how the two of them are basically a couple, in the romantic sense.

It covers the entire gambit of a romance film, all told in implication. Tempted by another possibly partner, awkward couple consoling, break up, make up. All of it. In fact this movie may be the first romantic comedy that I actually laughed at.

The reason all of this works, is because the actors are really good at what they do. They look like they are having the time of their life in this film.

Especially Channing Tatum. He is clearly loving every minute of what he is doing. Now, I am always a fan of Jonah Hill, but the awkward white guy stereotype has been done to death. Overused to the point that I actually find it really annoying. Jonah is an awesome actor, but I really dislike his character.

On the other hand, Channing’s muscle head character, who gets bored with the macho lifestyle, instead choosing goofy fun? Yeah, I can get behind a character like that. It feels authentic. So when he does funny things, it makes me laugh. I laugh because he is having fun, thus, I am having fun.

Now, I really can’t talk much more about the jokes themselves, that would just spoil the entire movie. I can tell you a gist, but not specific moments, Just keep it in mind that the ones shown in the trailers, are actually the worst jokes in the movie.

Yet this movie is not all sunshine and rainbows, it does have a few flaws. Some of the jokes really do not work, and I was just left waiting for the part to end.

Also, can we please talk about the rampant stupidity involving guns? Like this movie treats them like they are toys. Like the bullets are just little exploding paint balls.

Throughout the movie several bits of pure nonsense:

  • A bullet that should have killed a person is stopped by a single book on a shelf.
  • Multiple gunshots to the arm do not even faze a person.
  • Bullets can bounce off of surfaces, like they were rubber. I am talking perfect ricochet.

In addition to that, no one in the film seems to understand that they have guns. So many times, characters are just talking and not firing their guns. Usually to prevent the main characters from being shot, when they really should have been by now.

My main other complaint is the overuse of specific jokes. The movie is fully aware that it is a sequel and makes constant references like “Just do the same thing again!”.

That line, is uttered more than fifteen times over the course of the film, and it bothered me. The first few times it was funny, usually because they combo-ed it with some kind of visual gag. But when it is just said over and over, it really loses its charm.

So, now that I have voiced my complaints, and sung my praise. I will move to the list!

  1.  The movie is clever and smart. Check!
  2.  The viewer experiences the emotion or tone that was intended by the director. Check!
  3.  The main characters are interesting, dynamic, and not stereotypical. One of them is, but this movie is about a duo, so no point for it.
  4. The movie is not a remake, prequel, sequel, or a mid-quell. If it is one, it needs to be better than the original. MEGA CHECK!
  5. Engaging and well paced. Basically stuff happens at a good pace. Check!
  6. Has a story worth telling. Check!
  7. Has a satisfying resolution. Check!
  8. General technical excellence. Camera angles are good, and the lighting is pleasing to look at. Check!
  9. The movie does not have any plot holes in it. So many gun errors…….and other oddness.
  10. Not predictable, story does not follow a paint by numbers plot. Check!

So in the end, despite my complaints, this movie gains an 8/10. You can forgive a comedy for many things, as long as it makes you laugh, and this one did.

So lets see its final score!

  • Score: 8/10
  • Buy or Rent: Rent
  • Rewatch Value: High, the amount of visual gags is staggering.

So, that’s the review. I hoped you enjoyed it, and I look forward to eventually reviewing 505 Jump Street. I hear in that one, they are going into the body of the president to stop a drug called PLOT  from stopping his heart….

Alright, so that’s it guys, see you on Wednesday.

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