22 Jump Street film review
Having enjoyed 21 Jump Street (2012) I was more than happy to sit and watch the sequel which came out a little earlier this year. I expected it to be a bit of fun with likable characters and actors, as the first one was.
As I have an aversion to sitting still for too long I did what I always do when going to the cinema – did some IMDB’ing to see what the film duration was and I was more than a little surprised to find it was two hours long. Eh? I mean that’s going to be a looooong time giggling at teen high jinks after the obligatory five years of trailers and Kevin Bacon adverts.
I watched the trailer and laughed a bit. I enjoy the silly parts the most (both actors walking through a doorway impressively and at the same time banging shoulders and getting stuck – that kind of thing makes me giggle). Seeing the squid wrapped round Jonah Hill’s head as he ‘fought’ it off made me cringe slightly and I began to prepare myself for a longer, cornier and more over-the-top film than it’s predecessor.
But I was wrong. 22 Jump Street is brilliant!
The writers and directors of this film (look them up, there’s too many to mention) did a sterling job. Rather than my predicted fear of a corny sequel, they took the best elements from the first movie and beefed up the sequel to make a movie that is at least on a par with the original.
The college setting works better than school. Though the story line is essentially EXACTLY the same (something they cleverly poke fun out) the supporting characters and backdrop just seem to fit better. They are allowed to drink beer, they are allowed to chat up girls.and whilst these things don’t majorly matter on their own they do contribute to better scenes during the movie.
The bromance between Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) was further developed in this film, with hilarious results reminiscent a little of Hot Fuzz. The friendship between the two is one of the best and most key plots to the film and having re-watched 21 Jump Street recently, I realised it wasn’t nearly as touched upon in the first film. The chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum is brilliant, with both actors showing an aptitude for comedy and comic timing. I don’t have a favourite between the two – they both equally contribute and it’s the partnership between them that works.
Ice Cube, clearly popular from the first movie, has more of a role in this film with some fantastic angry-black-dude one liners. Some of the scenes in the new “22” headquarters are really, really funny.
Something else I noticed and liked about the movie was a lack of gratuitous scenes. Going back to college as students brings up images of frat parties, naked girls and American Pie style shenanigans. Well sorry to disappoint the fourteen / forty-five year olds reading this, but there is barely anything like that in the film. There are good looking girls of course and ‘relationship’ story lines but just none of the strip club crap that I find in so many comedy films (note to the film makers – we don’t all want to see it). Of course I have no objection to Channing Tatum getting his guns out (because the sun is out) so….just call me a hypocrite I guess.
22 Jump Street is first and foremost very funny. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make me laugh and I can’t wait to watch it again to spy some more. It’s well written and well acted and impossible not to enjoy (unless you’re a complete pretentious snob who can’t enjoy anything that David Lynch hasn’t made). Where 21 Jump Street had more of a teen comedy vibe about it, this impeccable sequel is for everyone. Of course there is the odd ridiculous and/or embarrassing moment and the ending will probably have some of you snorting in disbelief, but as far as the actual script and concept goes, this film has it all.