The art of sequels is no stranger to the box office. It can be hit or miss, with some grandly continuing on a story and others simply standing in the shadow of the original. Now there is “22 Jump Street,” which has decided to take the idea of the sequel and make a movie about it.
After the serialized opening to the film, with “Previously On” montage of “21 Jump Street,” Schmidt and Jenko are trying their hand at fieldwork, but are brought to the realization that their skills are of a one-note set, namely infiltrating the halls of academia. When the pair is sent to MCState to “infiltrate the dealer and find the supplier” we experience much of the same formula of the previous film, just turned on its head character wise. Here, Jenko is the accepted star of the football team, and Schmidt is the outcast sent to nerd camp, which also contains an unfortunate familial relation to their boss. With a lot of hijinks, explosions, and partner-drama, the pair solves the case to the applause of their unwitting social peers.
The writers could have taken the road of serious sequel, but instead opted for more of a parody of the idea of a sequel. Much of the dialogue bandied about talks about bigger budgets, offices and gadgetry, as well as getting stuck in the same routine. This proves the route to go, as the film is a refreshing commentary on the sequel plague in Hollywood, and manages to be pretty funny at the same time.
The chemistry between the two leads of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill continues to work to the films advantage. The pair plays up the stereotypes of their characters, and play well off each other. Ice Cube remains just as angry as ever, apparently, especially when confronted with budget shortfalls and his officers fraternizing with certain members of the campus populace.
Fans of the first movie will love the sequel even more. The laughs come fast and quick, with much of the situational and physical comedy eliciting the loudest laughs in the audience.
“22 Jump Street” is an A effort in the midst of the summer season. Even with some of the dirtier jokes, it may even be one of the safest comedy to hit theatres this year. By mocking the sequel formula, the filmmakers made a wise decision that pays off for laughs and story, and that audiences should definitely make a trip to the cinema to enjoy. “22 Jump Street” is rated R for language, drug use, violence and sexual content.