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22 Jump Street

What She said:


Until last weekend, I honestly had forgotten that this movie had ever happened.  Then I realized that it would soon be coming to DVD and got super hyped.  I thought the first movie, 21 Jump Street, was pretty darn funny—a great forum for Channing Tatum to start to come into his own as an actor.  And so I was thrilled when this Tuesday the second in the franchise finally was made available to the at-home viewing audience.  I have to say, it was totally worth the wait.

In the first film, we meet police officers Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko.  The movie follows them as they go undercover in a high school—obviously too old to pull it off—and somehow manage to bring down an illegal drug ring.  Well, the second film promises more of the same.  And they make it perfectly clear that they know they’re pushing the exact same plot.  In fact, the film makes a parody of itself being a sequel. 

22 Jump Street

This time around Schmidt and Jenko are going to college.  There has been a drug-related death on campus as a new hip narcotic called WHYPHY (pronounced “wifi”) becomes increasing popular.  Schmidt and Jenko are charged with uncovering the distribution lines for the drug and bringing down the kingpin of the operation.  But the clues don’t come as easy for them this time around. 

The bickering couple become more independent during their time on campus, and begin to question their partnership.  Jenko makes friends with a pair of football jocks, Zook and Rooster, who convince him to play on the team.  Schmidt believes that Zook is the prime suspect because of a tattoo that he has on his bicep.  However, the closer Jenko gets to him, the less he thinks it to be true.  At least, he hopes it’s not true, because Jenko and Zook are like kindred spirits.  The dynamic duo tear up the football field together and become “bros” off the turf as well.  Meanwhile, Schmidt has grown close to an art major named Maya, and he’s just thrilled that he’s kind of in an adult relationship with a real girl.

Knowing that they need to find new leads and focus their search, the two re-center themselves and discover that the campus dealer is actually a guy going by the alias Ghost.  They pursue him and his gang, but the bad guys get away.  The relationship between Schmidt and Jenko becomes even more strained at that point.  Fast forward to spring break, and the two decide to give it one last hoorah as partners as they try desperately to capture Ghost and determine the kingpin of the cartel.  Without giving too much away, they do find Ghost and the kingpin, and some wild, wild chasing and capture ensues.  The two realize that they still want to be police officers and partners and all ends well for them.

22 Jump Street

This movie was ridiculously funny.  I mean, there was a lot of adult humor, and some of the jokes referencing male genitalia were a little repetitive, but it didn’t get too bad.  Well, the adult humor was pretty bad, but it never got old to me.   The dynamic between Jonah Hill as Schmidt and Channing Tatum as Jenko is fantastic.  I mention Tatum coming into his own in the first movie.  He has by no means emerged as a fabulous actor.  I still find him to be wooden and one-dimensional.  But he’s found that his dimension really is humor and the exploitation of his looks and body.  I can really think of no one better to play a jock because, frankly, he just looks and talks like one.  It’s perfection.

While the plot of this film is as formulaic as they come, the writing is not.  The moviemakers knew they were making a sequel and thought the best thing they could do was make it a parody of itself.  I love that they took this approach.  They didn’t have to make this movie anything special.  The first was fun, and this one, too, was meant to be fun.  The fact that they made it a bit of a parody actually helped to enhance the film.  And, while the storyline meanders slightly, the movie is for the most part pretty well written, particularly the dialogue.  I should clarify that the plot doesn’t shift too much to the point where it’s hard to follow.  There’s just a lot going on and it becomes hard to keep everything in check. 

This movie is very easy to watch, and, if you have a similar sense of humor to mine, you’ll probably find it funny.  For every joke that fails, there are about eight that don’t, and so the movie overall hits the right spot.  I really enjoyed this immature comedy.

Thumbs up.

22 Jump Street

What He said:


Schmidt(Jonah Hill) and Jenko(Channing Tatum) are back to bust more bad guys in the sequel to the surprise hit, 21 Jump Street.

Following the success of their major bust in the first movie, Schmidt and Jenko are having trouble duplicating that success. Ever since breaking up the operation of a drug kingpin, while posing as high school students, the dynamic duo has had some problems in the work place. To put it mildly, they are on a dry spell. Most recently, they let drug dealer and his gang get away while working on an undercover case.  

This leads to the reinstatement of the “Jump Street” program.  This time around, they are stationed at a different church (their undercover base of operations) from the first movie – hence the name 22 Jump Street. See what they did there? They are also reunited with Captain Dickson (Ice Cube).

22 Jump Street

This time around, the guys are going to college, to investigate the recent overdose of a young coed. She was taking some new drug called WHYPHY (pronounced “wi-fi”). Jenko never went to college, but he was a big man on campus in high school. He was a popular kid and actually picked on lesser popular people – like Schmidt for example. Cool people can sense other cool people and not too soon into their phony academic careers, Jenko attracts the attention of two members of the football team – Zook and Rooster.

Zook (Wyatt Russell) and Rooster (Jimmy Tatro) are not only two of the most popular guys on campus, they are star football players too. When Jenko and Schmidt tryout for the football team (for investigative purposes), Zook takes a liking to him right away. Not only is Jenko a good football player, he’s practically Zook’s twin. These two guys are peas in a pod. They ask him to pledge to their fraternity.

Schmidt tags along, but it’s not his scene. He’s not welcomed with open arms the way Jenko is and he doesn’t really like the party scene all that much either. He ends up meeting a young lady named Maya (Amber Stevens). Amber is an art student and Schmidt has more in common with her than any of the frat guys.

This causes some friction between the two buddies and partners. They are still working on the cast, but separately. They each have their own leads and are working their own solo cases. This affects both their partnership and friendship. Things get even worse when Schmidt begins to suspect Zook might have something to do with WHYPHY.

The two later reunite, though reluctantly, when they get a lead that there could be a major break in the case on…spring break of all places! The two team up for old time’s sake in hopes of bringing the bad guy down.

22 Jump Street

I don’t remember a ton about the first movie. I remember the general storyline, and that I enjoyed the movie, but if you asked me to mention specific jokes, I couldn’t do it. I remember that I thought the movie was funny, was surprised that I did, but I couldn’t tell you much about it at all. I know it’s about an odd-couple that are partners and become friends.
Regardless of that, I was really looking forward to this movie, so we rented it the day it became available. I was not disappointed. Hot damn was this movie funny. Was every single joke in the movie funny? No, there’s always a few jokes that flop. But there were far more jokes that hit than those that missed. I was laughing almost nonstop. There were parts that made me smirk, parts that made me chuckle, and others that had me bursting into tears.  Take this scene for example. This has got to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s funny because the whole idea of it is absurd, but it looks ridiculously real. I’m smiling just thinking about it.

Channing Tatum should be thanking whomever decided to cast him in the first one. Prior to that, he was doing mostly chick flicks and bad ones at that. Who knew he was this funny? And his chemistry with Jonah Hill is top-notch. They are a great odd-couple, particularly in this comedic setting. Watching them together is truly entertaining.
This movie is absurd and raunchy, but most importantly, funny. This is one of the best comedies I’ve seen in a while.

Prognosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on November 21, 2014.