22 Jump Street: There's a Grenade in my Shorts
Schmidt and Jenko have returned. After the Koreans buy their church back, 21 Jump Street must move across the street. Now that Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) have proven themselves in high school, and because they are way too old, they move on to college. The story is essentially the same, the characters even make jokes about that. However, I found it to be quite an improvement from the first installment. It has also been “Bro” approved based on the raucous laughter from the neon tank, board short, RayBan wearing bros who sat behind me.
A new drug called “WhyPhy” is going around campus, and it is Schmidt and Jenko’s job to find the dealer and infiltrate the supplier. Along the way, they find their strengths in different areas which causes a riff between the two. Jenko is a natural at football and befriends the quarterback and president of Zeta house while Schmidt fits in far better with the more intelligent art students. At one point, the duo breaks up, and I actually felt sad for them. Is it completely weird that I keep thinking of Monsters University? Probably, but try and tell me you can’t see the similarities…
The best part of the film is the fact that the writing rarely seems over the top or lewd. Of course that can’t be applied to the entire movie, but for the most part the writing is clever and depends on the comedic chemistry between Hill and Tatum rather than cheap jokes. It could have been so easy for this film to have been two buddies getting together to make a movie full of crap they think is funny (This is the End much?) but the story is there and they followed it well. It is refreshing to see a comedy that does not seem like the entire film is improvised. Score 1 for the writers!
Two actors who deserve a shout out are Jillian Bell and Ice Cube. Bell plays Mercedes, the deadpan, snarky roommate of Schmidt’s love interest. Literally everything she says is laugh out loud worthy. I daresay she outshines Jonah Hill in the scenes they share. I would love to go to a comedy show where all they do is have a conversation. Ice Cube reprises his role as Captain Dickson, the hilarious tough head of the Jump Street division. Once again, every time he is on screen his intimidating demeanor demands laughter and attention. However important lead actors may be, without these two, the film would not have been the same.
With any other duo at the helm, the film would not have been the same, either. When I first heard Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill were going to be in a comedy together, I had so many reservations. Although the idea seemed absurd, the brains and the brawn combination worked to perfection. If you thought the pair was funny in 21 Jump Street, just wait until you see the shenanigans they get into while at college. From parkour to relationship counselling, spring break to driving around in a football helmet-shaped golf cart, 22 Jump Street is jam-packed with laugh out loud moments made even funnier by the incomparable Hill, Tatum duo.
No film is perfect, though, and 22 Jump Street is no exception. While it does not have many flaws, I did find a couple. First is the lack of funny female characters. Yes, I did point out Jillian Bell who is hilarious, but her screen time is severely lacking. She may be in about 10 minutes of the film at most, and I cannot think of any other women in the movie who made me laugh as much as the large ensemble of men. I think it is safe to say that in 2014, Hollywood has its fair share of hilarious women to choose from: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Rose Byrne, the list goes on and on. The second issue is one scene in which Schmidt and Jenko accidentally get high on the WhyPhy drug. A weird split screen sequence occurs where they are in their own animated worlds. It is actually pretty funny, but goes on for a bit too long. It might only seem long because it is just so bizarre… All in all, I would say this is a pretty solid comedy.
Believe it or not, 22 Jump Street is not a horrifying mess. In fact, for a summer comedy, it is extremely enjoyable. I did not go in with high expectations, because, let’s face it, sequels usually lose a bit of the gusto the original had. However, I found 22 Jump Street to be even more enjoyable than the first. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have the perfect comedic chemistry; I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Run Time 1:49
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22 Jump Street IMDB
- 22 Jump Street (2014) - IMDb
Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller. With Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman. After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local c