22 Jump Street is hands down one of the best sequels I’ve ever seen. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller returned to direct, and I think these guys are going to be huge after this movie (if they aren’t already). Together with the Lego movie and Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, they’re proving they can make just about any wacky or seemingly bad idea work on film. I remember groaning when hearing about the first 21 Jump Street, as well as their awesome ‘Lego Movie’, but after seeing them I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for these guys. With 22 Jump Street, they make not only a great (and better) movie than the first, they attack the very idea of reboots and sequels as well.
The movie starts with a drug bust, as Schmidt and Jenko attempt an undercover sting operation. Of course, it goes awry, and the two are then transferred back to ’22’ Jump Street, right across the road from ’21’, as the police are ‘rebooting’ the program. “Just do the same thing you did last time”, their chief says (Offerman, who is great in everything). So they go to their new headquarters and onto college, where another new drug has resulted in the death of a student. Schmidt and Jenko lament the idea of going back and doing the same thing at first, until they get roped into the case. The movie takes some hilarious turns, and moves at such a quick pace that I really would do a disservice to it summarizing any more.
There are so few movies that, for a couple of hours, make you forget you’re in a crowded theater, experiencing mass entertainment. These two directors have that magical skill, in everything they’ve done so far. 22 Jump Street is the perfect example of a fun summer movie, and the fact that it’s hilarious, has some bite to it, and a brain as well, makes it the entire package. Channing Tatum has grown a lot on me since I first saw him. The fact that he pokes so much fun at himself in this is great. Jonah Hill also plays his ‘partner’ so well that it’s no surprise he’s a two time Oscar nominee.
I’m not sure what else to say about 22 Jump Street, other than to see it and love it. I’m glad we’re finally getting to a place with Hollywood where sequels, spin-offs and reboots are self-aware of how ridiculous their existence is. The end credit sequence of this movie (no spoilers) seems like Lord and Miller made it specifically for executives, with middle fingers raised. They invite us to join them in laughing at the system we’ve created, and it’s damn genius. If these are the quality of movies they make with EXISTING properties, I can’t wait to see what their original ideas are down the road.