After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college.
Significantly better than this sequel had any right to be, 22 Jump Street follows the same formula as the first film, but under the direction of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (recently of the excellent Lego Movie) there is a certain style and knowing wink in their approach. We link up with Schmidt and Jenko again (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum), who had great chemistry in the first film and both play off each other well again, with the setting for their undercover exploits changed from a school to a college. There are plenty meta references to the fact the film is a sequel, and some clever play around Ice Cube’s character and his history as part of NWA. In addition, every scene with Nick Offerman’s Captain feels like a commentary for the filmmaking process as a whole. To some extents, the meta references make this feel like a feature length version of a good episode of Community.
The plot and laughs are pretty much more of the same – they were funny in the first film, and they’re funny again. The highlight of the film is the enhanced role for Ice Cube’s police captain, which weaves into the main plot superbly. I’m often put off by Ice Cube’s generic performances as ‘the angry black man’ but the script plays off this expectation and it leads to the film’s funniest encounter. Support is also provided by Kurt Russell’s son and the always enjoyable Peter Stormare as one of the main villains, but the star of the film, like the first, are Hill and Tatum. I’m a huge fan of Jonah Hill in general, and Channing Tatum has been turning in some super performances recently, in both dramas and comedy’s. They’re a great double act and their character’s quirks play off each other well. If you liked 21 Jump Street, you’ll like this – simple as that really!
Directed By: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Peter Stormare, Jillian Bell, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Rob Riggle, Dave Franco and Nick Offerman