Thursday, June 19, 2014
22 Jump Street
To inform you of the obvious, comedy sequels rarely succeed. With that fact in front of you, it would be quite easy to condemn 22 Jump Street, well before the film's release. But, before you do that, ask yourself this question: "While watching 21 Jump Street, how much did I laugh?" Because the most common answer to that question is "a whole freakin lot," there may yet be hope for the sequel to the hit 2012 buddy comedy. There was never any doubt in my mind that 22 Jump Street would provide a multitude of hilarious moments, considering its predecessor took home my award for best comedy in 2012. However, from watching the trailer, I wasn't so sure that it would be able to live up to the sarcastic, ironic hilarity of the first film. Regardless, I was going to watch, and, regardless, I was going to laugh. The only question was how much...
For anyone who missed out on the point of 21 Jump Street, the film's real purpose was to make light of the fact that turning a television show into a film is an absolutely horrible idea (it's only other purpose was making me laugh). In keeping with that theme, 22 Jump Street focused on yet another blatant sin that continues to be committed in Hollywood... the unnecessary sequel. In fact, 22 Jump did a better job than its predecessor of picking out film-flaws and making them hilarious. At the same time, the flow of the film made it feel a bit lengthy. For me, that is no problem, because I could watch these guys 24/7 and still want more, but, for an average viewer, there may be a moment or two where you feel as if the story will never wrap up. Thankfully, there is plenty of laughter to be found throughout the film, including an amazing scene centered around Ice Cube's Captain Dickson and Jonah Hill's Schmidt that is sure to have you rolling for at least ten minutes. Although I will avoid spoilers, that scene was undoubtedly my favorite from either film, and I kind of want to go watch 22 Jump Street again, this week, just to see that one scene!
In addition to 21 Jump Street taking home my prize for top comedy, in 2012, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum shared my prize for top male comedic performance. Considering how much I loved their performances, I expected great things from both of them in the sequel. Fortunately, they did not disappoint!
Peter Stormare's Ghost was an extremely forced element of the 22 Jump Street investigative puzzle, and, whilst being forced into the plot, he never really provided any laughs whatsoever. My opinion of this character may be solely a result of how hilarious the other characters managed to be, but, either way, I did not care for the scenes in which he was a big player.
Once again, my main man (and probably my favorite actor), Jonah Hill, was able to come up big in his hilarious role as Schmidt. His performance, alongside that of Ice Cube, really made 22 Jump Street work. I don't know why, but anything that Hill touches just seems to turn to gold before my eyes. That said, Channing Tatum's Jenko really seemed to take the backseat to Hill's Schmidt in the overarching storyline. Maybe I didn't enjoy Tatum's performance, because he was removed from Hill a good bit, but, regardless, he just didn't shine as bright as he did in 21 Jump. Don't get me wrong... he was great. Just not quite as great as he was in the first film.
Considering that most comedy sequels are doomed from the get-go, 22 Jump Street deserves like 20 awards for not sucking! I know for a fact that I do not have the creative capability to come up with some of the clever hilarity that these guys were able to manifest. Kudos to the cast, directors, writers, and anyone else involved in the creation of such a great masterpiece. Both 21 and 22 Jump Street will remain on my re-watch list for many, many years to come, and I really hope we get 72 Jump Street in 50 years or so. I'm thinking it will work well alongside The Expendables 50! I give 22 Jump Street 4.20 out of 5 stars.