Film: 22 Jump Street
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Peter Stormare, Amber Stevens, Wyatt Russell, and Jillian Bell.
Director: Phil Lord and Chirstopher Miller
Running time: 112 minutes
This much is evident in the opening sequence, where we are shown a quick recap of the previous film as if in a TV show. Still very appropriate for a film series that is based off of a 1980s teen show (which starred a young Johnny Depp).
The plots of films like The Hangover Part 2, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo, Weekend at Bernie's II dote along without nods to the original film and characters that just happen to fall into the same hijinks because of coincidence.
In contrast, 22 Jump Street relishes the “same same” nature and constantly reminds the audience that this film/investigation/hijinks are “exactly the same” as in the original film.
Still, despite the film's insistance that it is a slapstick comedy, 22 Jump Street is sophisticated in its storytelling and pokes fun at stereotypical portrayals of certain characters.
The film rides the “bromance” idea as far as it can without it ever being physical. The idea of the “dumb jock” is set up only to be knocked down by characters who can not only perform welll on the field, but who also display genuine kindness, affability and recognize special relationships.
The film also makes fun of the hyper-intense college freshman who, after taking one class, is suddenly an expert on a particular subject and chides everyone else. This sets up a lot of jokes mostly in the third act of the film.
In addition, there are references to other films and famous figures (Olympus Has Fallen, Bennie Hill, Do the Right Thing, Old School, among others) that it's tough to catch at first glance and makes it a joy to re-watch.
The movie tells the story of police officers Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) who go undercover at a university to find the dealer of a new synthetic drug that has swepped the local campus. With one student already dead, Schmidt and Jenko have a small window of time before the drug makes its way to universities across America.
While the partners try to investigate the same people, they eventually have to deal with the fact that each of them are part of different crowds and have to follow paths of their own. Innuendos of a relationship that is beyond that of a police partner is teased throughout the film and is cleverly used to segue into different plot points.
While it is a sequel, it is very well-done but cannot be seen through the same prism as, say, The Godfather 2. Even though 22 Jump Street will not win an Oscar, neither did Caddy Shack or Animal House. We just doubt there will be a third film.
This article originally appeared in the August 22 issue of The Phuket News.