365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

31Jul/140

22 Jump Street (2014)

A comedy sequel that is better than the original is rare to find, if not impossible. I've had this conversation with some of my friends before. The example that we agreed upon was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. It's sort of debatable if this is even really a sequel though.We couldn't find another sequel that was even really comparable to the first in terms of hilarity. The Hangover Part II was funny, but it offered nothing new and the first The Hangover was absolutely hilarious. After watching The Hangover Part III (which I found to be absolutely terrible), I found myself liking the first two even less. A lot of the great comedies (Old School, Wedding Crashers, Groundhog Day, There's Something About Mary) certainly made plenty of money to warrant a sequel, but went the smart route (at least to me) in not making a movie just to make a movie. There were a couple of franchises that did the original proud by being *almost* as funny (the American Pie franchise comes to mind). Then there other franchises that waited so long to make their sequel and had such high expectations that they were bound to fail (Meet the Fockers wasn't anywhere close to as funny as Meet the Parents and Little Fockers was more of an embarrassment than was The Hangover Part III). Likewise The Naked Gun is an all-time classic, but The Naked Gun 2 1/2 and The Naked Gun 33 1/3 are worth watching, but are not nearly as funny). So there wasn't a huge precedent for 22 Jump Street being as funny or funnier than 21 Jump Street. But, if it wasn't funnier than the original, it was darn close and certainly worth the price of admission.

Fresh off their successful stint as undercover cops posing as high school students where they exposed and brought down a violent and dangerous drug ring, partners Schmidt (Jonah Hill - Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street) and Jenko (Channing Tatum - Magic Mike, Stop-Loss) find that they aren't getting the same results as regular undercover cops. When one sting blows up in their face, they find themselves back in place they would prefer not to be. Captain Dickson (Ice Cube - Barbershop, Boyz n the Hood) is grilling them for another botched operation and, while hoping to catch lightning twice and also wondering what he can do with these two men he can hardly stand to look at) decides to assign them again as narcs. This time the case is at a local college (MC State) and the mission is to identify the supplier of a new drug called Why Phy (which stands for "Work hard? Yes. Play hard? Yes"). The drug was found in the system of a young co-ed who fell out of her dormitory window while high on the pill. Simple enough plot? Of course. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what a narc does. Does the simple plot deter from the laughs? Absolutely not. This movie is hilarious. I loved the first one and would need to watch it again before I can fully endorse the statement I'm about to make, but I *think* it was funnier than the first. I also enjoyed it more.

Hill and Tatum are both proving they are going to be around on the big screen for a long time to come. They can both do comedy extremely well. Hill is also finding his niche in some dramas where he has already garnered two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor while Tatum has also been very successful in action/adventure movies as well as Nicholas Sparks romances. And if the upcoming Foxcatcher is half as good as people are predicting, he's going to add drama to that list. The two actors have wonderful chemistry. The movie already hinted at a 23 Jump Street and I say why not if they both can commit fully to it and if you can get directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who both team directed 21 Jump Street as well) to return. I find it so ironic that the first real drama that the unknown, at the time, network FOX developed was remade as a big screen comedy some 25 years later.

The movie is a must see for any comedy fans. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it on the big screen, but it's certainly not a movie that needs to be watched in the theater to enjoy. Hill, Tatum, and Ice Cube are absolutely hilarious. The laughs don't stop the entire time. The movie is 1 hour 50 minutes, but it feels like it might be 30 minutes long. I think it's perfect for those of us who have graduated from college. I think the closer you are to the real life ages of Tatum (34) and Hill (31) the more enjoyment you'll get out of it. I say this because they try to do so many of the college things that were popular when they were in college a decade earlier, some of which are still relevant and some of which are not. See this movie.

Plot 8/10
Character Development 8.5/10 
Character Chemistry 10/10 
Acting 9/10
Screenplay 8/10
Directing  8/10
Cinematography 8/10
Sound 8/10
Hook and Reel 9.5/10 (you will laugh a lot)
Universal Relevance 8.5/10 (illegal drugs at college? Sure, why not)
85.5%

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