BY: MELISSA TANKA
America’s favorite funnymen return to the big screen this summer in “22 Jump Street.” The movie is a follow-up to the highly successful “21 Jump Street” in which rookie cops Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, respectively) go undercover as teenagers Doug and Brad McQuaid in order to infiltrate a high school drug ring. “22 Jump Street” starts out with a short recap that nicely summarizes the story so far for those who haven’t already watched the first movie 500 times (myself not included).
This time around, the Schmidt and Jenko return to do what they do best, which ends up being exactly the same thing. The writers have found a formula that works and stick to it, merely substituting different people, places, and drugs for those of the first movie. The dealer’s girlfriend that Schmidt falls for is replaced by the daughter of Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), instead of being suspended from high school for fighting mid-stage show, Schmidt is kicked out of college for being involved in a high speed chase across campus that ends in explosions, and the partners’ reunification takes place during spring break rather than prom. These moments of self-awareness not only gain laughs and recognition, but often introduce new twists on familiar material. Subtle (or not-so-subtle) references to the shoddy quality of sequels, as well as numerous puns and jokes make up the bulk of the movie, my favorite of which being Jenko’s reference to Captain Dickson’s office as looking like “a giant cube of ice.”
The heart of the movie lies in Schmidt and Jenko’s dynamic and their comedic timing, allowing them to play off each other and pull off the range of non-stop jokes and over the top action. They also find themselves at the center of several double entendres, in which they attend a couple’s counseling in order to cover for snooping around a therapist’s office and eventually agree to investigate other people, among other things.
“22 Jump Street” ends with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the string of sequels that movie studios are likely to churn out in response to a profitable franchise. Instead of high school or college, the credits suggest that Schmidt and Jenko are set up for all the way from 23 to 41 Jump Street, and will be attending various schools including medical, flight, beauty, and ninja academy.
If you liked “21 Jump Street”, there’s no doubt that you’ll like “22 Jump Street” as well. After all, not everything is “worse the second time around.”