Streets ahead of rivals
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