Sunday, March 08, 2015

22 Jump Street (2014) ***

Did you ever know someone who is a jerk, but who is actually fun to be around because he acknowledges being a jerk and makes that a part of his persona? “22 Jump Street” is the movie version of that, a completely unnecessary sequel that manages to be fun by making fun of its sequel status.

Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are still cops and hetero-life-partners. After busting up a high school drug ring in “21 Jump Street,” they are assigned to go to college to “Do exactly what you did last time.” With a bigger budget (carte blanche, or as Jenko malaprops it, “Cate Blanchett”), they set out to find the supplier of the latest designer drug. At college, Jenko fits in great with the football-playing frat-boys, making a new friendship that jeopardizes his relationship with Schmidt. Schmidt, meanwhile hangs with the art-majors and scores a tasty girlfriend (Amber Stevens).

As much as I want to hate on a sequel, I found myself having a good time. It's true that “22 Jump Street” is completely formulaic, right down to the see-them-from-a-mile-away plot twists. In truth, all the best jokes are the ones where the movie is making fun of itself. They are good jokes, though, including the ending montage of possible sequels, Like “27 Jump Street: Culinary School.” I would say that, just as “21 Jump Street” succeeded in the improbable task of turning the TV show into a decent movie, “22 Jump Street” manages to be an unnecessary sequel that actually works.

3 stars out of 5

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