After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Director team Phil Lord and Chris Miller are seemingly unstoppable at this point, in 2009 they were behind Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, they followed that up with 21 Jump Street which against expectation grossed over $200 million worldwide, and now in 2014 they’ve already made an impression with the Lego Movie shortly before 22 Jump Street hit screens.
That’s quite a good run from the pair but how does 22 Jump Street hold up against their previous efforts? The short answer is it doesn’t skip a beat. Their newest release picks up where the previous film ended diving straight into “previously on Jump Street” montage and a funny action sequence.
The strong opening is maintained throughout the film with a good balance of action, comedy and dialogue with rarely a dull moment. It’s obvious that the cast and crew were having a good time on this project with the endless self-referential jokes seemingly on non-stop display at times. Amusingly the filmmakers seem as shocked as anyone that this sequel happened.
Despite moving the setting from high school to college the formula at play here hasn’t changed much if at all, which again is something the film will own up to as quickly as the audience is to think it. Irrespective of that however the gags manage to remain fresh and the cast is enthusiastic and entertaining.
Developing the relationship between its two leads, 22 Jump Street puts the pair’s friendship under increased stress as they pursue their investigation, playing up the comedic side as if they are a romantic couple who came together too young before being able to experience the world beyond their home town.
By mixing them up with stereotypical football scholarship students and art majors paves the way for some hilarious sequences. Overall Tatum manages to have a slight edge on Hill performance wise, though the pair work well together and both have solid timing and an awkward charisma about them. In an expanded role is Ice Cube who is essentially parodying himself in an over the top manner.
Clearly with a larger budget this time around the action sequences are more elaborate and the setting for the final act of the film more exotic, with a mix of pursuit and light hearted combat scenes interwoven things remain fun, and entertaining without much tonal change even when gunfire is used.
Overall 22 Jump Street really is a great time at the movies, while not being particularly original by its own admission the script makes for some hilarious moments that are effectively delivered by its cast, definitely resulting in one of the most enjoyable comedies in recent cinema.
I’m giving it 7 out of 10 stars, you can catch it in theatres around Australia from 19th June 2014.