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22 Jump Street: Better than it should be

The first “Jump Street” film was a huge surprise to me. It was funny, it was smart, it was way better than it had any right to be. When it was announced that they were making a sequel I simply rolled my eyes; they got lucky once, but there was no way they could make another one just as good. Right?

Wrong!

“22 Jump Street” is just as smart and clever as the first and is still way better than it has any right to be. It’s not luck, these guys are just that good. These guys being Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (who are also the great minds being “The Lego Movie”) and stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

22-jump-st-channing tatum jonah hillWhat I loved about the first one is how self-aware it was and the sequel carries on that same sense of meta-but-not-totally-meta awareness.

If you didn’t see the first one it’s alright, they make it very clear that this is “the exact same thing.” They say that several times throughout. Also, the first few minutes is a “Previously seen on ‘21 Jump Street’” recap that will fill you in on what you missed. But, the first one was really good so I don’t know why you didn’t see it or wouldn’t want to now.

Since this is essentially the same movie I’m going to steal the synopsis from my “21 Jump Street” review:

The movie is based on the 80′s sitcom by the same name about a group of police officers who are sent into high schools undercover posing as students to bring down criminals. Yeah, the plot was just as laughable in the 80′s. The cops chosen for this undercover project are selected because they look young enough to pass for high school students, only the best part is that there is no way they could pass as a high school student.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play high school enemies who become best buds at the police academy and are sent to Jump Street after failing to properly mirandize a criminal destroying some shipyards while trying to catch some criminals. They’re sent back to high school to college to bring down a drug ring. They have to infiltrate the dealers and bring down the supplier.

Okay, so there are a couple of minor tweaks.

Tatum and Hill still make a really good team. They have a natural comedic chemistry that is fun to watch and makes their partnership, though improbable, very believeable.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Channing Tatum is really funny. It took me awhile to jump on the “Isn’t he dreamy?” bandwagon, but after the first one I started to see it. And this one confirmed it, with his comedic delivery and timing, not to mention his parkour-like action moves, this guy can do anything. I’m a fan.

Besides the self-awareness and winks to the audience, I enjoy how nice the script is to its characters. You think you’re going to get this stereotyped tropes that you’re meant to point and laugh at (dumb jock is dumb hahaha) but supporting characters aren’t stock two-dimensional fillers. The comedy is in the situation so you can laugh with them, not at them.

The story moves at a quick pace and even throws in a couple of twists I didn’t expect. And be sure to stay through the credits for some more fun gags, including a cameo from Seth Rogen playing Jonah Hill, which will make more sense when you see it.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I go in with such low expectations, or maybe it’s genuinely that good (I’m leaning towards the latter), but I really liked this movie and wholeheartedly recommend it.

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