HOLLYWOOD—One of the funniest comedies I saw in 2012 was the big screen adaptation of the TV series “ 21 Jump Street.” The movie didn’t feature the cast from the original series, but comedy genius Jonah Hill and novice to comedy Channing Tatum. While many didn’t expect Tatum to deliver on the comedy front, he did so in more ways than one could expect.
So it was only fitting the studio would want to deliver a sequel to audiences delivering more laughs than ever with “ 22 Jump Street.” Yeah, the title is a bit off, but its not big deal. Our characters Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) are back at their crazy shenanigans which end up placing the partners back in the program working for Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) who has now moved to 22 Jump Street, hence the films title. Of course, the duo couldn’t head back to high school this time around; they’re heading to college to uncover a new drug being distributed to co-eds known as WHYPHY.
Jenko fits right in on the college campus, while Schmidt has a bit of struggles similar to adjusting to being back in high school. Jenko bonds with jocks Zook (Wyatt Russell) and Rooster (Jimmy Tatro), while Schmidt bonds with Maya (Amber Stevens). The hilarity ensures when it becomes evident that Maya is the daughter of Captain Dickson. It’s a twist that many audiences won’t see coming, but that isn’t the only thing that makes this comedy a cut above the rest.
It’s the chemistry between Hill and Tatum that propels the comedy between their characters and to see them experience the ups and downs of a ‘friendship’ or ‘relationship’ depending on who you speak to is flat out hilarious. They act like an old married couple who is jealous when the other excels at something that the other fails terribly at, let’s just say football is not in Schmidt’s future.
The bulk of the hilarity doesn’t necessarily occur on the college campus in my opinion; it takes place when the duo heads on Spring Break in an attempt to nab the mastermind behind the new drug making the rounds. In particular, a hilarious scheme as Schmidt and Jenko attempt to hide their charade as Hispanic gangsters. There is also a funny bit with criminals Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) and Eric (Dave Franco) inside the prison that will leave audiences in tears.
“ 22 Jump Street” similar to its predecessor relies on its over-the-top moments and wise cracking dialogue to deliver the laughs to the audience. Are there a few gross-out moments, yeah, but a vast majority of the laughs are emitted from the dialogue thanks to a witty script by writers Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman.
Actors Tatum and Hill have proven that with the right characters, an original script, some unexpected cameos and going for the jugular, a sequel can exceed its predecessor. It its laughs you need this week, than this movie is the perfect filler.