Saturday, August 6, 2016

Now on Starz: 22 Jump Street (2014)

22 Jump Street (2014) - Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller; Written by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman; Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Peter Stormare, Amber Stevens, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman.

By Kenny Howell

Sequel are usually quick cash grabs. The makers of 22 Jump Street know this, and they want you to know that they know this.

By confronting the fact that sequels are usually terrible early on in the film through a very funny conversation between Hill, Tatum and Offerman, it really frees up directors Lord and Miller to do what they should do - have a lot of fun.

Hill and Tatum are back as Schmidt and Jenko, the kind of terrible cops that went undercover in a high school to bust up a drug ring in the first film. This time they are going to college with the same focus. A new drug called WiFi has hit the campus, and it has already resulted in the death of one student.

If that sounds very similar to the first film, it does, and the movie repeatedly points it out. But they play with the similarities to pull out punchlines, and it surprisingly works really well. However, Lord and Miller don't linger too long with the meta approach, after all, this is a vulgar comedy, and they have a quota of dick jokes they need to get into the 112 minute running time.

Lord and Miller have burst onto the scene, which started with 21 Jump Street, and become the standard bearer for mainstream comedy. In addition to this, they did the great The Lego Movie, which is legit funny, kids' movie or not. They lose this one a bit at times, especially with all the football stuff surrounding Jenko's character, but they never take it too serious, so a lot is forgiven.

22 Jump Street is currently playing on Starz.

Rating: ***

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