22 Jump Street Review: Another Inside Job Full of Meta-Humor

Photo Credit:http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/06/15/box-office-report-22-jump-street-is-the-big-winner-how-to-train-your-dragon-2-solid-2/

Remember in 2012 when 21 Jump Street came out and was surprisingly pretty good? So does the police chief (Nick Offerman), who claims that to find more success they are going to have to do the same thing over again.

22 Jump Street is one big joke about itself. The buddy-cop, action-comedy, college sequel sends up literally every word I just used. Successfully. It makes for the smartest dumb movie of the year.

The second entry in the series reunites Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) as they go undercover on a college campus to seek out how a drug called Whyphy is spreading. As the chief put it, let’s just do the same thing again.

In the preparation stage before their mission, there are a ton of great jokes about the film’s budget. As their Captain (Ice Cube) points out, the new undercover headquarters could belong to Iron Man.

Once in college, Schmidt mixes with the artsy students while Jenko mixes with the fraternity/athlete crowd. At most colleges, they don’t really come together too often. The separation of Schmidt and Jenko provides the arc of the movie. Despite their different interests, can they still play for the same team?

The chemistry between Hill and Tatum is over-the-top, yet grounded. It allows moments like an octopus inking in Schmidt’s mouth to occur and for us to still believe these two are really friends. For all its self-referential jokes, 22 Jump Street still has a heart.

So while it is occasionally very dumb, and obviously not the most resonant movie of the summer, this sequel really soars with its unique sense of humor and winning send-up of several sub-genres. Bring on 23 Jump Street! Or whatever sequel may come after the can’t-miss end credits gags. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

One Response to 22 Jump Street Review: Another Inside Job Full of Meta-Humor

  1. sellinger says:

    great post and valid points

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