Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


’22 Jump Street’ a sweet, silly update

'22 Jump Street' a sweet, silly update
963482463001 2955315204001 video still for video 2955360915001.jpg

Near the beginning of “Muppets Most Wanted,” the furry critters sing a song called “We’re Doing a Sequel,” about how the second film is never as good as the first.

Might as well acknowledge the obvious, right?

In “22 Jump Street,” directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller take that concept about 100 steps further, never letting the audience forget that this is, indeed, a sequel to “21 Jump Street,” the 2012 hit that was, in turn, based on the old Fox show that helped make Johnny Depp famous. The movie is relentlessly self-referential, with endless jokes about how things are always worse the second time around.

David Letterman used to talk about how if you had a bit that was funny, you keep riding it until it either dies completely or becomes hilarious.

Happily for all involved, the latter proves true in this film. The running joke is that police officers Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are simply copying what happened in the last film, when they went undercover at a high school to bust a drug ring. And they are.

Well, there are a couple of differences. For one, this time they go to college. They’re trying to find the dealer of a new synthetic drug, sort of. What they’re really trying to do, and they succeed wildly, is continue one of the better modern-day bromances in film.

And this time Jenko gets to be the cool kid, reversing the role reversal from the first movie. Schmidt doesn’t make the grade with the cool crowd, but he does manage to date a nice woman (Amber Stevens), who definitely comes with strings attached.

Ice Cube is back as Jenko and Schmidt’s ill-tempered boss, Dickson. (He gets an upgraded office, which the guys observe looks like a cube with ice in it. If you don’t think that’s funny, this movie is going to be tough sledding.)

Jenko and Schmidt have their friendship tested when the former becomes fast friends with Zook (Wyatt Russell) — they have everything in common. Except that he might be their suspect. So our heroes must grow apart, then be thrown back together again, winking and nodding all the while.

Miller and Lord, who also directed “The Lego Movie” from earlier this year, specialize in a type of meta-moviemaking, where part of the joke is the act of making a joke, and making sure everyone notices. That sort of thing abounds in “22 Jump Street,” but there is plenty of room for good ol’ raunchy humor and slapstick.

What makes it all work is the chemistry between Hill and Tatum, which in turn is a rich source of the film’s humor. There’s an underlying sweetness to their relationship. Hill (who, let’s not forget, has two Oscar nominations) has been funny since “Superbad,” but Tatum has become a terrific comic actor. In one scene he makes a discovery — no telling what — and runs around screaming about it, and it’s hilarious.

There’s a clever bit at the end imagining further sequels, with a cameo that, if not quite as inspired as the one in the first film, is certainly close.

“22 Jump Street” is, ultimately, a celebration of the silly and the sweet, a combination that’s welcome again and again.

’22 Jump Street’


R for language, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence.

Star rating:


Now playing: Bellevue 8, Green Hills 16, Hollywood 27, Indian Lake 16, Malco Smyrna, Opry Mills 20, Premiere 6, Providence 14, Thoroughbred 20, Wynnsong 16

Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

You May Also Like


From trendy restaurants to historic homes, there’s plenty to enjoy in the Downtown Fort Myers River District. If you’re on a tight schedule but want...


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Our friend Chef Cal from Bruno’s of Brooklyn cooked up an appetizer and an entree that are quick and easy...


ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – Two people were attacked by a dog in Englewood Wednesday afternoon. A man and a woman both in their 60’s were...


LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Local chef Brian Roland is being transferred to rehabilitation to continue his recovery process following an accident at a car...