22 Jump Street
Cert: 15 / 112 mins / Dir. Phil Lord, Chris Miller
I'd approached the sequel to 2012's Tatum/Hill cop-actioner with no small amount of caution. Not because I didn't thoroughly enjoy its predecessor, but more because it was something of a surprise hit, and then there's that bit in the trailer where Nick Offerman's police captain tells them "do the same thing; everyone's happy". While it's commendable that the makers of the film are at least aware of the thin ice they're cinematically treading on, is it wise to be so blasé about it?
In this case, yes. Yes, it is. 22 Jump Street is far too self-aware for its own good, but somehow no less funny for it. The knowing winks to unnecessary sequels, ageing actors and formulaic plot devices are pushed past clichéd, through repetitive and on to the point where they're funny again (and as I'm entirely aware that comedy is subjective, you'll just have to take my word for that). It's duly noted that while the screenplay points out how crass or laboured the jokes are, it doesn't refrain from cracking them all the same.
Jonah Hill is on good form, and Channing Tatum proves once again that comedic acting is his forté (going to far as to obliquely reference White House Down on-screen). Also faring far better than he should is Ice Cube (especially when you consider that he played essentially the same role in Ride Along, to far lesser effect). All in all, much like its predecessor, this is a great comedy film, and it doesn't try to be anything more (oh, and bonus points for the closing credits full of faux-sequel clips).
While the film feels far too long (the Spring Break segment almost seems to be from another installment) it never gets boring, and it's largely thanks to the chemistry of Hill and Tatum. There's no great 'reveal' this time round, but I don't think a script as self-referential as this could handle it anyway.
A comedy that concentrates on being consistently laugh-out-loud funny above all else, lightning has struck twice on Jump Street and given life to the rarest of beasts: a sequel which stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its progenitor.
Which is also a nice way of saying that if you didn't enjoy 21 Jump Street, there'll be little for you here.
It'll be just as funny on DVD, it just depends how quickly you want to see it.
Pretty sure there's one when they drive through the 'robot factory'?
As funny as 21 and 22 Jump Street have been, they've been lacking prominent female characters (Amber Stevens and Jillian Bell are woefully underwritten in this). Who would you cast in 23 Jump Street to even the see-saw without tipping it?
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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