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 earlier this year. I expected it to be a bit of fun with likable characters and some pretty funny jokes – EXACTLY like the first one. Which it 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 silly parts the most (both guys walking through a doorway impressively and at then banging shoulders and getting stuck – that kind of thing makes me giggle because I am VERY immature). But 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 absolutely fine. A very sturdy sequel which cleverly mocks itself as a………..sequel. The writers and directors (look them up, there’s too many to mention) did a really good job and rather than my predicted fear of a corny movie, they took the best elements from 21 Jump Street and certainly made something that is at least on a par with it. The college setting kinda works better than school. Though the story line is essentially EXACTLY the same (something they poke fun at) the supporting characters and backdrop just seem to fit better. They are allowed to drink beer, they are allowed to shag girls and whilst these things don’t majorly matter on their own they do contribute to some really good scenes during the movie.
The bromance between Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) was further developed in this film, with super results reminiscent a little of Hot Fuzz (or indeed, any real life OTT action movie). 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 quite 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. They are both so likable, which is V important.
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 (fucking pies and things). I have nothing against stuff like that in movies, but it’s noticeably refreshing when you don’t constantly see a pair of tits being waved in your face. Of course I have no objection to Channing Tatum getting his GUNS OUT whilst the SUN IS OUT so I am a huge hypocrite.
So to summarise, 22 Jump Street is likable and funny. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make me laugh and I’m looking forward to watching it again. 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 enjoyable 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 (who cares) but as far as the actual script and concept goes, this film has it all.