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Jonah Hill
Channing Tatum
Peter Stormare
Ice Cube.
Phil Lord
Chris Miller.
Michael Bacall
Oren Uziel
Rodney Rothman.
Running Time
111 minutes

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22 Jump Street
Spring Breakers

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Having cracked a high-school drug ring, undercover cops Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are sent to college to investigate crazy new narcotic WHYPHY (Work Hard Yes Play Hard Yes). Will they survive to see Spring Break?

22 Jump Street

In the grand tradition of comedy follow-ups like Gremlins 2: The New Batch and Airplane II: The Sequel ("Ted, I have the strangest feeling we've been through this exact same thing before"), 22 Jump Street has a giddy time going full meta. The new headquarters of useless policemen Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) is, as befits a pumped-up, budget-enhanced sequel, far swankier than their original digs, complete with a slick office for Ice Cube's character that resembles an actual ice cube. Meanwhile, an early action sequence suggesting that the franchise is about to blast off in a new direction is quickly put paid to by the heroes' pencil-pushing superior (Nick Offerman). "This department has invested a lot of money to make sure Jump Street keeps going," he chides, shooting down Tatum's suggestion that the duo join the (boom) Secret Service. Instead, they're going back to school — specifically, college — in a case that mirrors, beat-for-beat, the original movie.

Playing it safe has scuppered many a sequel in the past. But Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the sharp brains behind The Lego Movie, know what they're doing. They stick to formula so forcefully, and with such inventive flourishes, that the joke gets funnier and funnier with repetition. Best of all are the clips that unspool over the end credits, lampooning the current trend for stings by teasing not just the next Jump Street but the next couple of dozen, plus ancillary media. (For the record: we really want to see the cartoon that teams Jenko and Schmidt with an octopus.)

There's little character development: one of our heroes (Tatum) is still a lunk who confuses "carte blanche" for "Cate Blanchett", the other (Hill) still a neurotic softie who's equally useless at improvising his way through a drug-cartel meet or a slam-poetry contest. The plot, which revolves around a jockish quarterback played by Wyatt Russell (Kurt's son) and his possibly nefarious bro-gang, is nothing much to speak of. But the stars remain an inspired, even loveable, double-act: a couple of party-hearty Drebins, or Bill and Ted with handguns. The new spin here is that the buddy cops' passion for each other is starting to wane — they want to investigate other people. Hot Fuzz got there first, but the homoeroticism here is hotter and fuzzier. 22 Jump Street cranks it up to hysterical levels, not least with some wonderful use of split-screen.

As with the original movie, there are a fair few flabby stretches and some single-joke characters (one baddie complains that crime was better in the '90s at least 54 times). It's hard to begrudge it a little slackness here and there, though, given the frenetic blizzard of jokes elsewhere. If Lord and Miller have been subjected to notes from "the department", it doesn't show: there's an exuberance and silliness here that doesn't diminish for the whole two hours. Rare is the film that understands the pleasures of letting an enraged Ice Cube take out his wrath on an all-you-can-eat buffet. And which other blockbuster in 2014 would interrupt its climactic car chase to lob in a gag about Benny Hill?

Lord and Miller go Bad Boys 2, adding Peter Stormare, back-to-back gun-pointing and mucho excess. The action's bigger, Ice Cube’s angrier. Another silly treat.

Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen

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Average user rating for 22 Jump Street
Empire Star Rating

RE: 22 Jump Street

The jokes are fast paced and relentless, without it being tiresome. More importantly the comedy is actually clever, even during some of the scenarios the are more stupid due to some absurdity. The combination of the comedic duo and the intelligent humor work flawlessly, making the flick all the more entertaining. ... More

Posted by Durryahei at 19:40, 25 February 2015 | Report This Post

RE: 22 Jump Street

Disappointed by this, I liked 21 Jump Street a lot (I hadn't expected much from it prior to seeing it), but found this distinctly average - like most American comedy films these days its far too long, there are long gaps between laughs, and it seems to think it's a lot smarter and funnier than it actually is. Will probably wait for it to be in the sales before I bother watching the inevitable 23 Jump Street (and if the end credits are to be believed, the 20 or so ensuing Jump Street films). ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Indio at 23:47, 30 November 2014 | Report This Post

RE: If you're trying to persuade me to watch something...

Not sure I saw the same film as those who are saying this is side-splittingly funny. I enjoyed the first one a lot; I went into it with zero expectations and as this film is keen to keep reminding the audience, it was way better than anyone expected. I saw this yesterday and whilst there are some undeniably funny things in it, I think it falls short of the predecessor. There was lots of laughter in the audience around me, but there were times that I thought the laughter seemed a little for... More

Posted by Filmfan 2 at 11:05, 12 June 2014 | Report This Post

RE: If you're trying to persuade me to watch something...

Really enjoyed it!! The action was a bit OTT for me compared to 21 but it more than makes up for in laughs. Tatum and Hill have excellent chemistry and are clearly having a ball. Tatum's timing is brilliant, demonstrated in one particular scene which I don't want to give away but let's say it involves a delayed reaction. ... More

Posted by musht at 19:30, 09 June 2014 | Report This Post

Old School

22 Jump Street is far too self-aware for its own good, but somehow no less funny for it (although it's duly noted that while the screenplay points out how crass or laboured the jokes are, it doesn't refrain from cracking them all the same). A comedy that concentrates on being consistently laugh-out-loud funny above all else, lightning has struck twice on Jump Street and given life to the rarest of beasts: a sequel which stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its progenitor. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 20:52, 08 June 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Hilarious!

Saw this yesterday and it's great. The first one and now this are, in my opinion, what Hot Fuzz should have been. They perfectly parody all the tropes of the genre and the lead pair are still brilliant together. The end credits gag (which was ruined by that Empire review) is absolute genius. ... More

Posted by kingalan at 13:41, 08 June 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Why?

I thought 21 Jump St. was good but nothing special, I think i'll wait for the DVD on this one, somehow don't think it warrants a trip to the cinema. ... More

Posted by Willy Wood at 12:06, 06 June 2014 | Report This Post

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