Spoil-Free Review: 22 Jump Street
22 Jump Street is the meta comedy of the year. With as many jokes the movie makes about how terrible the sequel normally is it’s impressive how much of a success this follow up comedy is. In fact I would venture to say, better than the first. The question always is how do you make a sequel, and better yet how do you make a sequel that isn’t absolute shit? The easy answers are keep the same cast, make sure you keep the same director, don’t do the exact same thing, don’t do something that’s entirely different, don’t take it over the top, and for fuck sakes don’t force it. Unless of course you’re smart, which it turns out Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman, and Jonah Hill are (also fuck that’s quite the line up for a director writing team, you could play pickup basketball with all them damn people). 22 Jump Street does the exact same thing and does it far over the top. But oh does it work.
Easily the highlight of this film is Channing Tatum’s storyline. It’s basically Van Wilder with dubstep, oh wait not that; that sounds like the worst trip your favorite sleeveless bro from ASU has after ODing on LSD. Let me try this again: Channing Tatum’s storyline in Jump Streetis like Old School – Luke Wilson + someone with some comedic talent.
While the brother love story is played to an excess in this one it still manages not to detract from the comedy of the movie. And the meta humor is just perfectly done. The ability to poke fun at yourself is one that is valued above all in a comedy movie. First of all the two colleges that appear in the movie are called University of Internet (that’s not “the Internet” it’s just “Internet”) and Metro City State College–which is just gibberish. And since they lean hard into the ridiculous nature of the movie the “well that’s not how that would happen” nature of the action scenes doesn’t matter either. A personal favorite of mine of course, being the scene in Wild Wild West when two piece of metal crash into each other then explode… inexplicably. Actually the most ridiculous thing that happens in this movie is that someone thought that Jonah Hill could ever fuck Amber Stevens, even as a joke.
But I know you all don’t like to read, that’s why were sitting here talking about fucking cinema aren’t we? So let me just give you the quick hits. Why you should see this movie:
- Jonah Hill is great.
- Channing Tatum is better.
- Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum together is even better.
- There are brilliant cameos from some great comedic minds:
- Nick Offerman tears it up.
- Ice Cube is 1000 times better than you thought he would be.
- Dave Franco and Rob Riggle are great
- H. Jon Benjamin, Anna Faris, Bill Hader, and Patton Oswald make appearances because, why the hell not.
- But most importantly the Lucas Brothers are in the movie. Which won’t matter to anyone—except for people that matter.
- It’s got all of your favorite tropes from every college party movie and cop procedural drama.
- And Amber Stevens is hot. No but like real hot.
- And Channing Tatum might not be Ryan Gosling but we’d Channing all over that Tatum
I don’t feel bad spoiling all of these not-so-surprises. One because I didn’t say anything important and two, because they put the big twist in the preview.
There are those that will find 22 Jump Street’s brand of humor unfunny. These are the people who got Community canceled, without the intellectual ability to remember when to laugh if there isn’t a track to tell them when. These are the same people that still wish sitcoms were like Fraizer and comedies were still like Annie Hall. And then we have to ask ourselves, do we care when those people think about 22 Jump Street? And inevitably the answer to that is the same answer it always is: “no, but thanks for your bullshit opinion, I’ll remember this for next time.”
Acting (Main Cast): 9/10
Acting (Supporting Cast): 7/10
Action Sequences: 6/10
Overall Rating: 8.2/10 (amazing)
Pop Culture Che Suggests: 3/5 (See it, but you wouldn’t be remiss if you caught it on Netflix)