Overview: Schmidt and Jenko are ordered to revisit their undercover younger selves to hunt down a dealer who’s distributing a dangerous new drug at a university. Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, rated R, 112 minutes.
The Sequel: 22 Jump Street isn’t discreet about its identity as a sequel. In fact, it spends a hefty amount of time mocking its own identity while simultaneously bragging about its ability to pull off doing “the exact same thing”. The comments and jokes peppered throughout the movie dance across the line of both parody and full blown meta. Nine times out of 10, this tactic would not work and we’d all be rolling our eyes each time someone made a self-referential remark, but Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are so sure of themselves and their film that they know exactly the number of times to use this, how to use it, and when to stop. 22 Jump Street repeats the elements that worked the first time, expands on those, and adds just enough refreshing new content to make this sequel as entertaining, if not more so, than the original. For example: we again witness Schmidt and Jenko inadvertently take the drug they’re hunting down and fall into a comical “trip” (sound familiar?). Again animation is utilized, combining with the live action movie, which is something we haven’t seen done to such hilarious effect since Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
The Bromance: Jonah Hill (Schmidt) and Channing Tatum (Jenko) embrace, harness, and subvert their stereotypes just as they did in the first film, and then they turn it up another notch. 22 Jump Street balances yet another fine line that crosses into excessive romantic innuendos regarding Schmidt and Jenko’s “partnership.” It’s almost too much. But just when you start to think they’re overdoing it they switch gears, so again, it works. The chemistry between Hill and Tatum results in comedic gold, as it’s obvious many times that the scene is set up, the cameras just roll and the crew just let’s the two of them do their thing. Jonah Hill is effortlessly funny, as usual, and Channing Tatum has managed to find his sweet spot in comedy with exaggerating his dumb jock stereotype while still maintaining sharp instincts. The two have much more to work with in a college setting, which expands the opportunity for hilarious moments, , from walks of shame to rowdy frat parties, that can be appreciated by anyone who loves a chance to reminisce over their college years.
The Results: 22 Jump Street is the rare comedy sequel that’s able to repeat and expand upon its original source material to create even bigger laughs than its predecessor. Also, it may have the best and most hilarious end credits sequence I’ve ever seen, so make sure to stick around for it.