Friday, June 13, 2014

22 JUMP STREET Review- Jonesy's Take

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Written by Michael Bacall
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Peter Storemare, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell and Nick Offerman.
Synopsis: Our favorite undercover cops are back in college trying to bust another drug ring.

Not sure what magic potion directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller take before they make a film, but whatever they use works continues to work its magic. Almost no one thought 21 JUMP STREET was going to be a success (myself included), but the movie going public was pleasantly surprised when it was released two years ago. It's easy, if not lucky, to catch lightning in a bottle once, but could Lord and Miller do it again with a sequel? Absolutely.

All the major players are back, Tatum, Hill, Ice Cube, and a couple of always glorious scenes with Nick Offerman. But this time around, our boys are in college looking for the source of another drug ring. As it's stated multiple times in the film, in the most meta and satirical dialogue ever, that it's the EXACT SAME STORY. The biggest difference is Lord and Miller understand that with sequels, you can't just hit the exact same have to hit the beats but then heighten them. The film is so self-referential, it spends a lot of the time winking at the audience. And what's even better is that we're all in on the joke and makes the film that much more enjoyable.

But the real strength of the film is the character growth Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) have. At this point, they've been friends for years, so they've reached the comfortable stage of their relationship. As the case grows more and more stressful, the boys begin to drift their separate ways whether they want to or not, and it's strangely heartfelt. It's the growing pains all friendships go through after a while, and we've all been there. Plus, there's a real sense that these guys and Lord and Miller are extremely comfortable working together and experimenting with various aspects of the characters, which makes the film that much more rich.

Overall, the "going bigger" aspect of 22 JUMP STREET works. The jokes are funnier, the commentary, somehow, became even more meta, and the scope is grander. However, one sequence at the end seemed almost out of place. The climax of the final showdown felt too over the top in relation the rest of the film and looked very cheesy. But that's only a minor detail.

Even if you've never seen the first film (which you should remedy quickly), 22 JUMP STREET has plenty of great in your face and subtle comedy. Tatum and Hill are equally charming, yet again, and Lord and Miller can add another successful notch to their directing credits.

No comments:

Post a Comment