Thursday, June 26, 2014

22 Jump Street

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! This film, and the last one, are so funny that I can't help but wonder if some dark magic was used to make it possible.

22 Jump Street – 5 out of 5

I’ll be honest, when 21 Jump Street came out, I wrote it off because I was at a time in my life where I didn’t think too highly of Channing Tatum and I never thought the film was going to be great because I never cared for the show it was lampooning. However, when it came out on DVD, I gave it a chance because of some friends recommended it to me and I found it to be a million times funnier than what I was prepared for. After that, I became a Tatum fan and started to pay attention to the works of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

                                                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Seriously, never predicted these two could work together so well.

                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Taking orders from Ron Swanson...and not me Ron Swanson,
the Ron Swanson everyone likes (yes, my name is really
Ron Swanson).
Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are back and, against the wishes of Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman), the force reinstates the 21 Jump Street undercover division…the only problem, the church they were once stationed at has been purchased but, thankfully, Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) set up shop across the street at 22 Jump Street. Now Jenko and Schmidt must go undercover in college to try and find a new dangerous drug called WHYPHY that is on the verge of going viral at campuses across the country. However, things aren’t going to be easy as the once tight partnership of the two cops comes under threat of the two growing apart.

                                                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Except in this screen shot...they actually look like they're working quite well together

Due to the high status the first film left with me after having incredibly low expectations, I went into this film with very high standards and was expecting only the best from Hill and Tatum and Lord and Miller. And you know what? It didn’t disappoint me in the slightest! I found a film that was just as funny and just as entertaining as the first one and proved to be a perfect follow up for a comedy that, in reality, didn’t really need a sequel but I wouldn’t say there shouldn’t have been one either.

                                                                                           Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Like the first film, this movie is hilarious as fuck! And I don’t mean I laughed here and there or “lol’d” but, like the text “lol,” I didn’t laugh at all. Nope, this movie was, “I better check to see if I pissed myself from laughing so hard” funny. From beginning to end, this movie is overloaded with the unique humor of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The humor will run from easy dick jokes to very smart, extremely witty references that may (or may not) fly right over the head of your average viewer. It is this complex and never repetitive style of humor that makes Lord and Miller the talented duo of directors they are and why they can create a more adult-geared movie like 22 Jump Street work so well and, on the other end of the spectrum, make a family film like The Lego Movie and have them both be as equally gut-busting.

                                                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Once again--and I hate to repeat myself like a broken record--but never thought this team could have worked.

                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Riggle rowdily returns...that's alliteration, my friends.
Other than having Lord and Miller and their ability to showcase the hell out of jokes and gags, one of the things that made the humor work so well the first time around was the fact that the cast all worked together really well; with special note on the chemistry between Tatum and Hill. Every actor really nailed the humor required from their character—whether it be Ice Cube’s frustrations with Jenko and Schmidt or Rob Riggle and his infectiously energetic performance—every actor knew what was needed to make the jokes work and that is seen all over again in this film. Again, Tatum and Hill have great chemistry together and it seems to get better as this movie, unlike others that have used this joke, are able to make their partnership in the professional world become a believable metaphor for a partnership in the private world. We’ve seen this joke—you know, the whole “We work together but seem like we WORK together" gag—but 22 Jump Street made it work on a whole new level thanks to Lord/Miller’s direction, Michael Bacall and Jonah Hill's writing and Tatum/Hill’s synergy.

                                                                                         Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Synergy is another word for ghost riding the whip.

                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
We've all been in this situation!  Amirite?
Since this is a sequel, you are required by movie law (not to be confused with Ape Law) to bring in some new characters and this movie does it extremely well. First off, Peter Storemare (one of my favorite character actors) is brought in as a drug lord and even if he was bad, it’s still awesome to have him in the film (but he wasn't bad). One of the reasons that Jenko and Schmidt are having their problems is because Jenko meets a guy who is basically a carbon copy of him named Zook (Wyatt Russell) and their interactions are hilarious and, meanwhile, Schmidt runs afoul of a mean-mouthed roommate of the girl he is courting played by Workaholics star Jillian Bell. Both these new additions to the cast really made for some absolutely hilarious moments and really worked well in the film and with the cast...and Peter Storemare is just awesome as the drug lord.  His awesomeness did translate into some hilarious moments, too.

                                                                                          Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
This particular scene with Bell and Hill is quite top notch!

In all honesty, I really feel that 22 Jump Street is a work of comedic brilliance. With its vast array of comedy styling and an emphasis on meta-humor that refuses to take itself too seriously and poke fun at itself and the story quite a bit, the movie proves to be a perfect comedy that is so rare in this day and age of bad slapstick and poop humor. Add to the recipe a hefty dosage of great talent who knew exactly how to nail the joke and its top stars having undeniable chemistry together and you have yourself a sequel to a great comedy that works wonders and, is so good, that I wouldn’t mind several more sequels.

                                                                                           Columbia Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
This seems like an appropriate pic to end the review on.

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