Cast - Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube
Director - Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Rating - ***1/2
In 2012, when 21 Jump Street rolled into theatres, the main contention was whether it would live upto the 80's cop drama on which it is based? The answer was yes, and if that was the standard for this film, the sequel seemed to have topped it.
22 Jump Street continues the same buddy cop theme as the first film, and allows Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to settle into their roles as the unlikely partners. Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are two years older, which means this time they're going to have infiltrate the older crowd, in college. The fun part of this film, is the understanding that the first film worked, so why not try the exact same thing. Before you can say it's the same old thing, Hill, Ice Cube and Nick Offerman at various points through the film beat you to the punch, "It's the same thing, in the exact same way". The film is basically a meta-satire, poking holes at sequels, stereotypes, and the general money making mentality of Hollywood.
Hill as always was delightful as the awkward yet dedicated cop, and Tatum fit well into the alpha male avatar. Ice Cube got a bit more screen time, and shone well as the angry boss, with serious rage problems.
Sequels are always tricky, but the fun filled ride, experiments a whole lot in this one, and honestly that's what works. It's not like they left out the clichés, they purposely put them in with great context, forcing you to laugh out loud. Throughout the film, you'll find references to pop-culture, and the franchise in general. For instance, Hill exclaims that Ice-Cube's new office looks like a big cube of ice. In another scene, Nick Offerman explains, "This department has invested a lot of money to make sure Jump Street keeps going," an obvious dig at the studios investment in the film.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who hit it big with The Lego Movie earlier this year, know just how to shake things up while sticking to the original concept. As with most comedies there were the random jokes that were supposed to be funny, but failed to stir even a chuckle, but you were probably laughing at the previous joke to notice.
PS: Wait for the credits, you won't be disappointed.