by Tony Pinto
When is a sequel ever as good as the original? In the case of “22 Jump Street,” it surpasses the previous “21 Jump Street.” With the newly released “22 Jump Street,” the rebooted franchise is alive and kicking.
The films are based upon the late 80’s television series “21 Jump Street” that stared Johnny Depp.
The movie is about cops Schmidt and Jenko going undercover in college trying to find out who the new drug supplier is. There is not much more you need to know than that.
The film brings back all the main characters from the original including Schmidt and Jenko played by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum respectively. It doesn’t just bring back the same people, it brings back the same plot. The only difference is that now they are in college instead of high school. They pretty much tell you that it’s the same plot line early on in the film and hammer that into your brain throughout.
“22 Jump Street” does play off the fact that it is a sequel, but the film seems to make it work. There is a scene at the beginning where Metro City Deputy Police Chief Hardy, played by Nick Offerman, gives them the new case and warns them about reboots stating “It’s always worse the second time around.” “22 Jump Street” is an exception to the rule.
Lame and corny jokes like that are all around in the movie and it seems to work in this case. The humor in the film is surprisingly not too low-brow, which is an unforeseen occurrence. It’s sophisticated in its humor, but it still stays in touch with its demographic of young adults. One of the best scenes is actually during the credits which you should stay to watch as they lay out what might be the next sequels. Medical school, anyone? Or, how about culinary school?
It does have some unfortunate jokes, including ones about Maya Angelou and Tracy Morgan.
The film’s two stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum work well together. Their onscreen relationship is what makes the movie worth watching. They act like an old married couple and it’s just hilarious to watch. That’s one of the main gags played throughout the movie that they are in a real relationship. They elevate this movie from so-so to good.
Ice Cube is brought back as Captain Dickson and has a few scene-stealing roles throughout. We even get a cameo from Queen Latifah as Ice Cube’s wife.
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who directed the first one and also the hugely successful kids’ movie “The Lego Movie,” this duo proves it can direct anything from kids’ movies to adult comedies and do them well.
At its heart, this is a buddy cop movie that is hilarious. What more can you ask for in a summer comedy? Nothing. If you’re looking for something enjoyable that’s not too serious, this is a great movie for you to see.
Pinto’s Grade: A-