22 Jump Street (2014) – Review

Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Written by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel
Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube

Well if it worked once then why not do it all over again? This is a perfectly legitimate question to pose regarding the appearance of a sequel to 2012’s 21 Jump Street, which also featured our two main stars here. This time, however, our two bungling undercover cops are even older, so as if it wasn’t ridiculous enough already to think they could get away with being schoolkids the first time around, then it seems all the more unfeasible that they could pull of becoming college students.
And the fact that the success of the first film came as something of a surprise to the makers and stars of the original film is not lost on the audience here, as much is made of the fact that yes, they are going to do exactly the same thing again. They don’t know why it worked the first time, but it did. So the common sense thing to do, it seems, is to try it again and see if it makes the same amount of money (or even more) this time around too.
And if we’re really honest, the only thing that has really changed about this sequel is the number in the title. Our two rookie cops are just as wise-cracking and hopelessly lucky as they ever were. Told by their boss that they were such a success on their last mission they were the natural choice for the job of infiltrating a college campus, under the guise of Freshmen, in order to root out the supplier of a new trending social drug, called Whyphy (work hard, yeah, play hard, yeah). It seems that the drug was called this solely for the purpose of one rather predictable joke, but it still draws a laugh even when you know its coming.Directed by the current comedy midas twins, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs) you can expect a certain sophisticated level of perceived chaos. By this, I mean that 22 Jump Street is very, very funny in places and it appears carefully constructed to achieve this, rather than coming off as improvised and unbridled comedy genius as they may have you believe by the way our two leads are directed. Nonetheless, Lord and Miller seem to have a real handle on what tickles the majority of people’s funny bones and they use that talent to some effect here. On occasion, the delivery by Tatum and Hill may have been wanting a touch, but not often enough for it to become as much as a real niggle.

In short, 22 Jump Street is not quite a complete joy, but it is a collection of well-written, most well delivered tongue-in-cheek interludes of teenage humour that mostly falls quite a way short of subtle. Still, being battered over the head with a squeaky comedy hammer can sometimes be just as much fun, which this most certainly is. A word to the wise, don’t run off at the at the start of the credits, as there are as many laughs in these as there are in the rest of the film, so be patient. It’s definitely worth hanging around for the last couple of minutes. Good mindless, pointless fun. 23 Jump Street, anyone? I’m in.

 

 

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