After watching 21 Jump Street (2012) together, my boyfriend and I decided to give the sequel a watch too since it was also on Netflix. It seems like whenever comedies make sequels, their game plan is always to just follow the formula of the first one (because it was successful) but make it wilder and more outrageous. That certainly rings true with 22 Jump Street – it’s more or less the same action comedy as the first, just crazier and with a bigger budget (which the movie jokingly notes too).
While this sequel isn’t exactly ground-breaking or particularly imaginative, its playful awareness that it’s exactly the same as the first makes it charming. I personally prefer 21 Jump Street over 22 Jump Street, but that’s not to say this movie isn’t a good time – it’s still hilariously fun. I’m sure what draws fans in is the movie’s ability to play off of completely unrealistic scenarios. Of course, being in a new setting with upgraded gear has its perks, and trust me, the movie never lets you forget its “big budget” (there is literally a scene bragging about it).
This time with the movie taking place at a college, I’m sure you can guess what that involves: frat boys and parties. So yes, 22 Jump Street absolutely takes advantage of the college stereotypes, filling the screen time with frat parties, drinking, and college football. Heading in again as undercover students, it was definitely a more plausible situation this time for Jenkos and Schmidt. But honestly, one thing I did find questionable was their fake age – why’d they go with 19? They could’ve easily gone with an older age and it would’ve still been believable because it’s college, but it’s fine, it’s fine. Disbelief is part of the act I guess.
Most of the main cast returned to reprise their roles, and there’s even a short scene with Dave Franco and Ron Riggle returning as Eric and Mr. Walters. Once again, I found that the movie succeeds in being as funny as it is because of the actors’ excellent comedic timing and delivery. I am always amazed by how movies like this ever get finished because it must be so difficult for the actors to finish a scene without laughing.
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill managed to be the stars again, carrying over the same hysterical dynamic that worked so well the first time; their chemistry seems so natural that I doubt it was a challenge for them getting back into these roles. Don’t expect any growth from these two though, they’re still just as childishly immature and set in their ways as before. I also loved seeing Ice Cube getting more screen time in this one because his role as Captain Dickson is absolutely amazing in the funniest way. He definitely created some of the funniest moments in the entire movie. That man is so intense it’s crazy.
22 Jump Street is another two hours of mindless entertainment that’ll do the trick if you’re looking for something both funny and amusing. Getting to see this undercover cop duo embark on another mission was definitely an entertaining experience despite the zero character development. But let’s be real, you’re here for the idiotic fun, not some expertly crafted story. With that thought in mind, I’ve decided to give 22 Jump Street the same rating as the first, a 6.5/10. I can’t deny that these two movies are solid additions to the comedy realm and there’s a reason why they’re so well received by audiences.
21 > 22 in this instance for me also. I am sure part of it is just the incumbent advantage of being the first one, but this is definitely not a bad follow up effort at all. That being said, while I will periodically rewatch the original going forward I probably won’t need to see this second entry again.
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