Tuesday, December 2, 2014

22 Jump Street . . . on video

by Alyssa Couball, Writing Intern (with Germar Derron)

22 Jump Street emerged as the top selling and renting disc for last week. The comedy sequel drew an impressive $191.7 million dollars at the box office. With this in mind, I checked it out to see if it's as good as those numbers suggest.

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s chemistry makes 22 Jump Street go. Officer Jenko (Tatum) and Officer Schmidt (Hill) succeeded in high school—the second time. That same success is had when they’re sent undercover in college, to track down the dealer of a new synthetic drug--wyfy. Characters from the first installment, 21 Jump Street, such as Eric (Dave Franco), make an appearance. Jenko’s nerdy friends come back to assist once again. Sending likeable characters, from the original, back into the fray for the sequel comforts viewers. Additionally, it reminds us of a very successful formula. We keep an open mind for new, equally awesome, characters.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Once at college, Jenko befriends a parallel spirit on the football team by the name of Zook. Likewise, Schmidt penetrates the free spirit art major, Maya. The two begin to question not only their partnership, but their friendship . . . just like in 21 Jump Street.

In the end, the two learn that they were better together. As the drug dealer makes his . . . I mean her way to New Mexico to spread the drugs to other areas, Jenko and Schmidt embark on a mission to hunt her down. With the help of fellow officers, primarily Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), Jenko and Schmidt crack the case wide open. The hilarious ending hints at sequels ad infinitum. The proposed sequels include Med School, Ninja School, and I think there was even a Military School. (Channing Tatum in uniform, YES PLEASE!)

Will there be a 23 Jump Street? (editor's note: yes, it's been confirmed) I sure hope so. The second movie is basically the first movie, with a few unexpected scenes: Schmidt hooks up with the Captain’s daughter. Not cool, but SO funny. When the Captain finds out, Ice Cube plays the quintessential angry father. Queen Latifah makes a surprise appearance as Maya’s mother. Repeating the same story­line is not necessarily a bad quality. It transferred all the laughs from the first and maybe added a few more.

At first glance, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum do not harmonize. Tatum is buff and statuesque . . . HOT. Jonah Hill is . . . ample and friendly. I believe this mismatch makes for the perfect match. Their real life personas are linked, through physicality, to their characters. They feed off each other’s energy and audiences can see and feel that.

For the next movie, if there is one, I would tell writers to spice it up a bit. Don’t be afraid to change things up. The first two movies are fun and kept viewers on their toes. But, by the end of 22 disappointment sets in, as you learn it's 21 Jump Street again. I’m afraid that by the third movie we’ll be yawning.  And what’s up with Jenko never getting a love interest? I’d like to see some sparks on screen between Jenko and a girl. Why should Schmidt get all the fun? 

Overall, I give it a 9/10 for an almost perfect performance between two great comedic actors. If you enjoy comedies that are actually funny, be sure to watch this super satisfying sequel.


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