Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

’22 Jump Street’ Review: Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill & Ice Cube

Is there a better on-screen bromance than Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill? Or a better off-screen bromance for that matter? When we all learned that Tatum and Hill would be joining forces in 2012’s 21 Jump Street, a few things went through our mind: These two actors are completely different, how will they act together? Is Channing even funny? Why did Jonah lose all that weight for the role? Why is a major movie studio re-doing another old TV show? But the end result surprised us all because 21 Jump Street was incredibly clever, a major success for both actors and Sony Pictures, and more importantly it gets funnier every time I watch it… and I’ve probably watched it two dozen times. A fitting title for the sequel, 22 Jump Street may not fully live up to its predecessor but it sure comes pretty close.

Just a little while ago, police officers Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) went undercover at a local high school to solve a drug-dealing case. Ja feel?? Now their superior, Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), orders them to go undercover again, but this time at a local university, where a similar drug-dealing situation is occurring.

Jenko and Schmidt are excited to experience college together and crack the case. Jenko infiltrates the football fraternity crowd, while Schmidt shimmies into the art major group, both looking for clues on who the dealer is. Once again, their friendship and loyalties are tested as the two decide if being undercover policemen and best friends is the right path for them.

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Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have created an on-screen friendship that will never get old. Their Jump Street films have made their mark in cinema as comedic classics for the current generation, with a screenplay just as quotable and timeless as 2004’s Mean Girls or 2007’s Superbad. Tatum and Hill have created characters so likable and relatable, that it is easy to root for them when they are on-screen individually, but even more so when they are on-screen together.

Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (2012’s 21 Jump Street and 2014’s The Lego Movie) certainly know how to make a comedy and it’s apparent that these two have a blast while making it! It’s a rarity that directors can transition from live-action to animation seamlessly and these two know how to make an audience laugh. Can we have a 23 Jump Street now please? Also, their end credits sequence immediately following the movie is one of the best end credits sequences, well, ever.

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The one downside to this sequel is that the supporting characters aren’t nearly as strong or as well used as they were in the first film. Dave Franco, Brie Larson and Ellie Kemper, you were all really missed! Ok, Dave Franco has a super small cameo and an essential end credits scene (it’s all the way at the end of the credits and well worth the wait), but his “Ja feel” moments were really missed. One could argue that this time around the supporting actors Wyatt Russell, who plays Jenko’s college football bestie and Amber Stevens, who plays Schmidt’s love interest, take a step back to allow the story to focus more on the bromance between the two cops, but they aren’t nearly as compelling as Franco and Larson were in the first film.

22 Jump Street proves that a sequel can be as equally funny, charming and original as its predecessor. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s continuation of their undercover cop story is worth seeing multiple times over, and will without a doubt get better upon every viewing.

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