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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

22 Jump Street (2014)


The override of debt and loans may be a pain, but hey, at least you’re hanging out with C-Tates and J-Hill!

After “successfully” blending in as high school students and busting a major drug-ring, Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) are looking for their next mission, however, their commanding-officer (Ice Cube) thinks that they look too old to blend in with the young adolescents. Instead, he devises up a plan to send both of these guys to college, where they’ll be looking to infiltrate another drug-ring that may have also been the major influence in a student’s recent death. Automatically though, there are problems both Jenko and Schmidt run into as soon as they walk onto campus – some recognize that they are too old; Schmidt can’t fit in as well as he did in high school and finds himself “in” with the art crowd; Jenko finds himself buddy-buddy with a fellow footballer (Wyatt Russell); and plenty more distractions that keep both Jenko’s and Schmidt’s eyes off of what they were sent to college to do in the first place. To make matters even worse, Schmidt gets jealous that Jenko has a new best-friend that he can hang around and party with, leading to something even more serious than the idea of the mission falling apart: The dissolution of their friendship.

To be honest, even though I terribly enjoyed myself with 21 Jump Street, I for one was definitely not looking forward to a sequel of it. Not just a sequel to 21 Jump Street, but just a sequel in particular because, as we all know, sequels are the cash-cow of the movie business that Hollywood loves stuffing down our throats. It doesn’t matter if its a re-tread of the same story that was done so well before, or even if it improves upon the original in any way whatsoever – all that matters is that those in charge make money, and a whole bunch of it, too.

Ooh. Channing Tatum as a football player? Yeah, don't know if I believe it either.

Ooh. Channing Tatum as a football player? Yeah, don’t know if I believe it either.

However, every reason I just gave for not looking forward to most sequels of most kinds, is the exact reason why 22 Jump Street, the sequel to 21 Jump Street, works as well as it does: It knows what it’s set out on this Earth to do and rather than trying to hide behind it with flashy special-effects, car-chases and explosions, they attack it head on. Maybe moreso than they should have, however, a funny meta-sequel is better than a meta-sequel that isn’t funny, and it makes me happy to know that Hollywood still has some creative minds out there that can do something cool, fun, and different with the same formula, no matter how many times it’s been done before.

And yes, even though this story has only been done once on the big screen in the past decade or so, something could have easily gone awry here where it feels like it’s the same jokes said, same plot-threads covered, and absolutely no character-development whatsoever. But, like I’ve been mentioning, this sequel is very different from those others out there that do exist and show up maybe ten-to-fifteen times a year.

Because, for starters, this movie is downright funny. Everybody in the movie seems to be having a wonderful time with the material, and considering that both co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller place this story in college, rather than in high school, there’s more ground to cover. Personally, I don’t think this movie goes as deep into the state of modern-day college as well as it did with high school in the first movie, but the fact still remains that it’s a funny movie that makes the best use of its premise. Most of that credit deserves to be given to the more-than-able cast, but a good handful does deserve to go to Lord, Miller and the screenwriters (Michael Bacall and Oren Uziel) who keep this movie crackling full of humor whenever it sees fit.

Still surprised? Don’t worry, because it gets better.

Also, with this sequel, something happens that I didn’t see coming, which is that we get more rich development for our main characters that we fell so in love with before: Greg Jenko and Morton Schmidt. Obviously what was so great about the first movie is that Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, despite seeming like a terribly-placed, odd-couple of some sorts back two years ago, worked so well together, that it was easy to not only believe in them as best-friends, but fuel the movie’s emotions a bit more once you saw their friendship start to deteriorate because of certain problems stemming from one being considered “cooler” than the other. They explore that same idea here, but it’s done so in a way that isn’t hacky and at least brings us to seeing why Jenko and Schmidt are such great movie-pals in the first place.

And heck, if you told me that C-Tates and J-Hill truly were the best of friends in real life, I would not doubt you for a second, because here, it totally shows. Their chemistry never wains and you can always tell that each one knows exactly what the next one is going to say, or do, at any given moment. Watching them pal around with one another and bounce joke-after-joke off of each other’s public-personas is an absolute blast, but what makes them so great together here, especially this time around, is that you can see why it matters so much about them being friends.

Though their different in terms of physical-build and social-cliques, they both have the same kind of personalities that they even each other’s out; Jenko is more impulsive, whereas Schmidt likes to think about what move he’s going to make next, whereas Schmidt is smart about life and in touch with his feelings, Jenko likes to blanket things underneath having a good time and not worrying about the small stuff that he considers “crap”, or “meaningless”. Though they have some differences, they still definitely appreciate each other’s company, because they’re both clearly good at their job and want to have a great time while doing it. Sure, they may not always agree on whatever step the other one takes, for whatever reasons that may be, but not every person agrees with another person on everything, especially not a best-friend.

College truly is an experimental time for anybody.

College truly is an experimental time for anybody.

I know it may seem like I’m going into this deeper than I probably should, but I only do that because the movie itself clearly does its own fair share of digging into the friendship of these two just as much, if not more. Jenko and Schmidt are clearly the heart and soul of this movie, and while they may not be the only amusing, or even most interesting aspect about it all, they sure as hell are the aspect that keeps it conscience clear, its heart in the right place, and ourselves placed firmly behind these two, hoping they complete their mission, happy and together. And yes, if that sounds at all homosexual, that’s on purpose.

Trust me.

Like I said though, these two aren’t the only amusing aspect of the movie, because saying so would only be an injustice to just about everybody else who shows up here and throws in their own two cents to bring in more fun. Ice Cube is a whole lot funnier and well-rounded than he was in the first one, and without giving too much away, I’ll just say that he’s downright hilarious; Wyatt Russell (child of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) is a fine-fit as the bro-ish frat dude that Jenko begins hanging out with more often than he should, but the two create a wonderful chemistry that it comes almost close to challenging the same one Tatum has with Hill; Jillian Bell plays a character that has it out for Schmidt the first day she meets him for looking too old and is very funny, even if she herself does look a tad too old to be pushing books and staying in dorms; and Nick Offerman, Dave Franco, Rob Riggle all return to bring in some much needed reminders of how great and truly awesome the first one was. And while this one definitely rivals that movie, it’s clearly the better of the two. However, to have comedy-sequel in the 21st Century still be just as good as the first, truly is saying something and makes me optimistic for whatever sequels they have lined-up for this.

Just watch and you’ll get the joke. Trust me.

Consensus: 22 Jump Street may not be better than the original, yet, still comes pretty closer to doing so because of its tongue-in-cheek humor that never stops being hilarious, and the heightened relationship between its two main characters, played perfectly once again by both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

8 / 10 = Matinee!!

Sort of like my Spring Break, except not at all.

Sort of like this past Spring Break for me, except not at all.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBAceShowbiz

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41 responses to “22 Jump Street (2014)

  1. ninvoid99 June 13, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Hey, did you hear that if the film makes over $35 million in its opening weekend at the box office, Jonah Hill will kiss the tip of Channing Tatum’s dick?

  2. whitdenton98 June 13, 2014 at 3:43 am

    I’m not surprised this isn’t as good as the original, but I’m really glad to hear it’s good! Loved the original. Terrific review man.

  3. Chris June 13, 2014 at 4:32 am

    I dunno, Dan, I personally think this may well have surpassed the first. Good stuff here. 🙂

  4. #peggyatthemovies June 13, 2014 at 4:44 am

    I remember being so pleasantly surprise at how much I liked 21 Jump Street and your review makes me look forward to seeing 22 JS as soon as possible!! YAY!!

  5. thycriticman June 13, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Sounds awesome as hell dude! Cannot wait to watch it! Chemistry made the first one a hit and I am glad that it has came back for the second. Tatum is much better at comedy than he is action!

  6. Mr. Movie June 13, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Looking forward to this, the original was probably the only comedy film I’d rate highly in the past couple of years!

  7. stephen1001 June 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Nice review Dan – I went into the first one with low expectations and like you, I really enjoyed! Good to hear this one’s fun as well

  8. Nycole Hutchens June 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    dan, great review, I may just see it now after reading this. Also your site looks great have not been here in awhile, I remember you because you were one of my second followers when I first started my blog last march, so thank you! and much success to your blog your on your way. Next thing you will be sharing your experience at press junkets(if you like to interview) and advance screenings

  9. Mike June 13, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Another good review, Dan. I went into the first movie blind, and really enjoyed it so I was planning to eventually get around to seeing the original. Its nice to see a sequel not suck completely. I really tend to enjoy anything Jonah Hill’s in. Accepted and Superbad to name a couple.

  10. Three Rows Back June 13, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    You can’t ask for much more than that for a sequel. Really looking forward to this. Great review.

  11. John Callaghan June 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Great review. Now I’m going to watch 21 on Netflix for sure and I’ll watch the sequel as well. Here’s how old I am: I was an extra on the original TV show. I was living in Vancouver and fucking starving. No jobs and expensive as hell. But I look about ten or fifteen years younger than my actual age. A casting agent asked me if I wanted to be an extra. They paid shitty but at least it was a job and they fed you. Three meals a day and a table full of snacks you access all day. I did a bunch of extra work for a couple of years. It’s weird. Sometimes I’ll see my younger self on late night rerun. I should write a post about it. Anyway, great review.

    • CMrok93 June 14, 2014 at 8:05 am

      That’s pretty cool, man! I’ll definitely give that a look if you ever decide to go through with writing a post about it. Some pretty interesting stuff, I must say.

  12. colinashby June 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I was hesitant to see it at first because it looks exactly like the first one with the exception of it being in a college setting. Good to hear that it lives up to hype by giving some good laughs.

  13. reel411 June 13, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    hmmm i hated the first one, so i’d be curious to see what i think of this one.

  14. Consumed by Film June 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Really enjoyed the first, hopefully this one will bring about the same number of comedic riches! Great write-up.

    Adam.

  15. cantstopdrew June 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Nice review Dan, and great photo selection. It reminds me of just how far Channing Tatum has come in the last decade (that overconfident durp face in the football getup is priceless). I wasn’t quite as sold on the sequel as the meta smarts overcame the comedy too often and Jonah Hill didn’t have as much to do. But when the laughs hit they are mighty.

  16. Tom June 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Hahah great review Dan. This movie was a blast. I’m very close to saying it’s better than the original. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is. There were things I remember from the original that were really good but just the fact that Ice Cube had me on the floor in stitches at one point made 22 Jump Street instantly better! But that’s just me! 😀

  17. Dan June 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Haven’t seen this one yet but I’m really looking forward to it. Sounds like a laugh riot!

  18. Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews) June 16, 2014 at 12:02 am

    spot on – you nailed it! “However, to have comedy-sequel in the 21st Century still be just as good as the first, truly is saying something and makes me optimistic for whatever sequels they have lined-up for this.”

  19. thycriticman June 16, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Loved it dude! I know I commented before…but after seeing it…I was super impressed with what they did. I am surprised that some people did not like it much just because it wasn’t as funny as the first. I do not know what they were expecting…

  20. teny June 16, 2014 at 3:05 am

    Nice take there; I am sure to watch this one when it actually releases here. Wasn’t a fan of the first, but thought it was nice & funny.

  21. shazza91321 June 17, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I liked it, as I also liked how they handled the interracial romantic theme. They didn’t stigmatize it, I thought that was refreshing. Good review.

  22. Tim The Film Guy June 18, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    The film is hilarious. Tatum and Hill work so well together and to be honest my favourites scene where with them and Ice Cube.

    Great Review Dan 😀

    “We Jump Street, and we ’bout to jump in yo ass. Jenko: Mmmm-hmmm. Schmidt: Right in the crack.”

  23. Writer Loves Movies June 20, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Great to hear you liked this one Dan. I really enjoyed it – but from the trailers I didn’t expect to. The self-referencing worked a treat and it was great to see Ice Cube take on a bigger and even more hilarious role this time around. Not quite as good as the first one for me, but not far off. Loved the end credits sequence – fingers crossed they make medical school, that would be crazy!

  24. rjones93 July 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I was exactly the same when going to see this expecting the worst and getting surprised with a sequel that I laughed at probably the same as the first. Making jokes about doing the same thing again, just because it worked and hinting at 23 jump street was a brilliant way to stop me wanting it to be a completely different film. After that I stopped thinking about it as a sequel and just watched it as a separate film which I really enjoyed.

  25. Evan Crean July 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Great review Dan. I was definitely less skeptical than you going into 22 JUMP STREET, because I was pretty confident Lord and Miller would find new ways to have fun with the story. I agree that this film delves less into social commentary (re: college life vs. high school life), but it definitely zeroes in on the Schmidt/Jenko relationship in a hilarious way. Again, the chemistry between Hill and Tatum is fantastic, however there are some other great players in there too including Ice Cube and the amazing Jillian Bell. For me the best part about this sequel is that it uses itself as a case for how to make sequels: when you do the same thing again, your movie sucks. When you try something different things are much better. Once the guys started thinking differently and trying new angles, this sequel became much funnier.

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