“Four Walls” 22 Jump Street: Review

Directors: Phil Lord, Chris Miller (The Lego Movie)

Writer: Michael Bacall, Jonah Hill

Running Time: 112 Minutes

Production Budget: $50 Million

Studio: Sony/ MGM

Plotline: Undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko go under cover again,, this time in college in order to track down the supplier of a new synthetic drug in plot events that bear similarities to their first assignment. 

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

“Jump Street about to jump in yo’ ass”

22 Jump Street is exactly what you would expect, in the best way possible. It’s fast paced, frequently funny, and about as good as it possibly could be. My dad likely outside this film’s target demographic even enjoyed it as a casual diversion. While the first installment reached high above most people’s expectations, this movie riffs on the sequel formula directly, to the point of parody forming the foundation for most of its gags, many of which are laugh-out loud.

Using the department as a stand-in for the hollywood studio system the film taunts formula sequels; offering greater quantity to compensate diminishing returns of quality. The freshness of the first film is obviously gone but its space is appropriately filled with a greater self-awareness, the deepening of the franchise’s central relationship and its themes of convention and bromance.

Jonah Hill shifting back into comedic role mode (a bit of a tighter fit this time) brings a dip more drama to the proceedings as the movie leans greater on both his acting talents and chemistry with co-star, a more confident Channing Tatum. Both the duo of actors and directors have become more distinguished talents in the years since its predecessor with Hill receiving a second Oscar nomination, Tatum post-Magic Mike, a bona fide action star. The movie leverages their personas for maximum efficiency.

I was worried with Phil Lord and Chris Miller coming immediately off of ‘The Lego Movie’ (the year’s highest grossing film with roles for Tatum and Hill) that this film might suffer a bit in the quality department similar to ‘The Conjuring’ effect of back to back shoots had on James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2, but any others who shared my fear need not worry as this film while not as fresh makes for a requisite blockbuster comedy hit.

In what may be considered the film’s main weakness doubles as its calling card. The movie structurally is still as formless as the first and the pair’s earliest effort, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Trading off editing cinematic momentum for laughs is a fair trade that in the short-term scene to scene most audiences won’t mind. As we await the next projects of the central four which likely will result in a Jump Street sequel, one hopes they can reach beyond even the high walls they currently built, for themselves and each other.

Rating: B

(Opens today)

Great use of ‘O’Shea Jackson’ in this movie.


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