Down the Ballot

Monday, July 21, 2014

GSY: 22 Jump Street

Summer is movie season and I'm probably going to have a few Go Screen Yourself reviews this summer to come still. A couple of weeks ago I went to see 22 Jump Street. After the first one I was a little curious to see where they went with the whole college plot line. Don't normally go to Jonah Hill or Channing Tatum films, but 21 Jump Street was good enough to get me to come back for another one.

For the most part, I thought the story made sense. It was a little burdened by the constant reminders that the audience was expecting the exact same thing and that they shouldn't deviate from the formula of the first one. The Hollywood mass movie machine has a pretty easy job at making movies. Make a movie. If it works; repeat as many times as needed. The film budget and the budget for the fictional 22 Jump Street department tended to match up in the movie. Characters would constantly refer to them as one and the same. Nick Offerman's character represented the Hollywood establishment. He kept reminding the leads to just do what they did in the last film and everything will be fine. Of course the main characters weren't really happy with that, so they went their own ways for much of the film.

Ice Cube had probably his best comedic performance to date. He not only played their department head well, but also had the chance to play the enraged father when he found out what was going on with his daughter and Schmidt. Even if there were only twenty people in the theater with me when I saw it, everyone was laughing. Jillian Bell also does a fantastic job playing the secret villain.

There are loads of cameos and uncredited performances packed into this film. H. Jon Benjamin plays the football coach and Patton Oswalt play the college professor. All these folks probably did uncredited roles because 22 Jump Street spent all their money on the fancy digs at the new church.

The final fight scenes are probably the best stuff from both 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street. I also know of no other modern movies that feature a SLAM poetry contest. If you need a quick escape this movie has it all. Enough explosions, fast cars and gun fights to keep even those with short attention spans occupied.

I'm sure when the dvd/blueray comes out there will be loads of extras based on the end credits. The cast and crew do previews of all the 'future' sequels (these are of course probably not happening). Very fun to watch though.

I feel like this sequel was justified. It lived up to the strengths of 21 Jump Street and expanded upon them. 

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