22 Jump Street Review

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Following on from the unexpectedly huge success of 21 Jump Street, comes the inevitable sequel, delving us back into the crazy, messed-up antics of Jonah Hill’s Schmidt and Channing Tatum’s Jenko once more. The pair find themselves in an identical situation to what we witnessed in the preceding endeavour, though it’s of great commendation to directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller that this is the more accomplished, hilarious piece of the two.

This time around our calamitous double act are sent to college by their boss Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) to go undercover and catch the criminal mastermind behind the new drug called WHYFY, hoping to put an end to the dangerous narcotic before it spreads any further damage, having already killed one student.

Similarly to the filmmaker’s previous offering The Lego Movie, 22 Jump Street is brilliantly self-referential, with constant references to the fact it’s a sequel, and jokes made about going over budget, and so on. This is a clever technique to implement, as it gives the hardened critic such little ammo to work with, as by making light of the fact this is something of a superfluous sequel, they’ve taken away the sting from the biggest criticism that can be thrown their way. That being said, there are few who could leave feeling disappointed regardless, as this is one of the funniest films you’ll have seen in ages. The actors play douche-bags so effortlessly, and Tatum’s ability to act dumb is verging on the sublime – with one noteworthy sequence featuring a “Cate Blanchett” joke, that will have you in stitches.

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The action-comedy genre is not an easy one to get right, and we’ve seen so many directors fail, with The Sitter, starring Hill, illuminating such a point. However this just hits the mark, and while certainly flawed in parts and frustratingly archetypal throughout, there are enough jokes to ensure that you’ll be quoting this one for weeks after. Though sequels and reboots are tired in the contemporary cinematic landscape, there will be few cinephiles against the idea of a 23 Jump Street in the near future.

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About Stefan Pape

Stefan Pape is a film critic and interviewer who spends most of his time in dark rooms, sipping on filter coffee and becoming perilously embroiled in the lives of others. He adores the work of Billy Wilder and Woody Allen, and won’t have a bad word said against Paul Giamatti.

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