Typically, if you go to a theater to see a movie you’ll see about five to seven previews. Of those previews, generally, at least half of them will be sequels to other movies. “Oh look! They’re making another Expendables movie with a cast full of wrestlers and actions stars!” or “It’s been 20 years, we should probably make a proper sequel to one of the 90’s most loved comedies, Dumb and Dumber.” 22 Jump Street is another of the films that jumps on the sequel bandwagon, but is one of the few that actually succeeds in doing it well.
At the end of the previous installment, Captain Ice Cube alluded to the duo attending college. What at the time could have just been bait for fans of the movie, actually turned into a real sequel. The plot with 22 is almost identical to the last movie, with Hill and Tatum going to college in search of a drug dealer/supplier combination selling deadly drugs. This time it’s a drug called WHYPHY, standing for “work hard, play hard”. This tends to confuse Tatum with the always available WiFi internet that’s available on campus. So apparently WHYPHY is a super drug combo of Adderall and Ecstasy which leaves the user ultra productive for a few hours and then shoots them into a party high immediately after. The perfect college drug. Well not exactly when a girl takes it, gets locked out of her dorm and accidentally falls to her death off her balcony. So once again it’s up to Schmidt and Jenko to infiltrate the dealers and find the suppliers.
The Hangover series is a great example of a formulaic comedy movie that worked well with it’s first installment, but faltered when it tried to repeat the process over and over again. The first of those movies was hilarious. It was something different, it was funny, but when the plot was repeated only in a different location, with essentially the same jokes, it just didn’t work as well. It still was a box office hit, but people were still able to recognize that it didn’t have the same magic. 22 Jump Street does not fall into this category. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum yet again mesh extremely well together as their play undercover college students who clearly look older than barely drinking age. The jokes this time are just as clever, Tatum is even funnier and there isn’t any noticeable recycling or rehashing of tropes or humor from the last go-round.
In a year dominated by quite a few major sci-fi and big budget features, 22 Jump Street should be able to find a good piece of ground to find traction on. It’s an ultra successful sequel to an already loved movie from only two years ago. Though it does follow the exact same outline as the previous movie, it does continue the story of two of our most recent favorite undercover screw-ups. 22 Jump Street is the perfect hilarious movie to jump start your summer.
Rating: 9 out of 10 – 22 Jump Street will undoubtedly become a comedy gem in a year that’s filled with big budget sci-fi and book adaptations. Hill and Tatum work wonderfully together again to play Schmidt and Jenko in a slightly different setting, but succeed in being equally as funny. The question remains: will they make this into a trilogy or drag this franchise out until it becomes boring and a chore to watch?