Streets ahead of ri­vals

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Leigh Paatsch

Di­rec­tor: Phil Lord, Christo­pher Miller Star­ring: Chan­ning Ta­tum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Am­ber Stevens, Wy­att Rus­sell, Nick Of­fer­man, Peter Stor­mare

LET the record show 21 Jump Street was the smartest dumb movie of the mil­len­nium so far. So what of 22 Jump Street, then? All you re­ally need to know is that it’s the clever­est se­quel to a dumb movie of all time.

OK, so it didn’t re­ally have to beat much in that cat­e­gory ( Hot Shots! Part Deux, any­one?). Nev­er­the­less, it’s the thought – or lack thereof – that counts. A lot of brain cells have died so that the slam- dunk­ingly stoo- pid jokes in 22 Jump Street could live. All that wasted in­tel­li­gence shouldn’t be in vain. Not when the laugh­terto- si­lence ra­tio re­mains so con­sis­tently high.

If you’ve seen the orig­i­nal, you’ll al­ready be aware stars Chan­ning Ta­tum and Jonah Hill share a rare comedic con­nec­tion that money just can’t buy. Each knows ex­actly when to get out of the way if the other is on a roll ( and just as cru­cially, when to ride the other into the ground when a killer put­down is there for the tak­ing).

Un­like other sequels, the new movie doesn’t bother try­ing to hide its less- than- imag­i­na­tive rea­son for ex­ist­ing. In fact, 22 Jump Street keeps re­mind­ing the au­di­ence they are be­ing sold sec­ond- hand goods through­out.

The se­quel is im­me­di­ately cracking so many strong gags at its own ex­pense that the same­ness of the plot never be­comes much of a draw­back at all. There­fore lit­tle time is wasted in get­ting those mis­matched cops Jenko ( Ta­tum) and Sch­midt ( Hill) an un­der­cover up­grade.

They’re no longer pos­ing as high school stu­dents. Now they are univer­sity stu­dents. Shock twist, huh?

Even their lat­est as­sign­ment – un­mask­ing the cam­pus king­pin who is sell­ing the kids a dan­ger­ous new nar­cotic named Why­Phy – barely reg­is­ters on the fresh- o- me­ter.

In­stead, it is what hap­pens when the main sto­ry­line is ig­nored that gives 22 Jump Street its eclec­tic edge. Ta­tum plays Jenko faster and looser this time around, and the char­ac­ter is no longer just a low- IQ lug. Jenko’s new­found need to in­ject some park­our when­ever it is not re­ally re­quired never gets old through­out the pic­ture.

Hill takes more of a back­seat as the out­tashape- and- outta- touch Sch­midt for cer­tain pe­ri­ods, but can still step up with the funny at a sec­ond’s no­tice. A run of scenes where Sch­midt earns the ev­er­last­ing ha­tred of his boss ( Ice Cube) is Hill at his very best.

Speak­ing of the very best, the in­spired di­rec­tion seen here is the work of the red­hot- right- now Phil Lord and Chris Miller ( The Lego Movie). Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

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