Sunday, August 3, 2014

22 Jump Street [A Fat Jesus Quick Hit]

'21 Jump Street' is a movie that I highly enjoyed. I went into thinking that it was gonna be a lackluster comedy, and came out of it praising it as the best comedy of 2012. Two years later they boys are back and bigger than ever. With the same writers, directors and core actors at their disposal, '22 Jump Street' is a rare sequel that is just as good, and at points, even better, than it's predecessor. Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are a wonder to behold in these two films. 

"Oh, hey, look, there's Korean Jesus."
"It's Vietnamese Jesus now, you racist motherf***er."

'22 Jump Street' is set two years after the events of the first film and follows undercover police officers Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum). They thought they were going to a real college to tail drug deals, but instead are saddled with online courses. They eventually stumble across evidence that leads them to a drug deal going down at the docks. After a failed attempt at arresting the dealers, lead by a man known as Ghost (Peter Stormare), Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) reunites the duo with Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) at what is now, 22 Jump Street. The team is now assigned to go undercover at a college and find the supplier of a drug called "WHYPHY" that killed a student photographed buying it. Seemingly exactly like their first big case, Schmidt and Jenko head off to college to infiltrate the dealers and find the suppliers, before WHYPHY spreads.

"Someone get the man some water! He's black, he's Been through a lot!"

This is a movie that I wasn't sure about from the trailers. I think I'm like that with a lot of comedies these days though. It looked like it was going to be different film. It looked like it was going to be far too over the top, when it didn't need to be all that different from the first. Luckily for me, it wasn't over the top at all. Most of the time it was almost exactly the same. The actors knew it, the writers knew it, the directors knew it and they let YOU know it in the film. And you know what? It totally hooked me in. The charisma between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum is immense. Scenes involving Ice Cube are splendidly done. While the supporting cast, especially Jillian Bell, meshed with the main cast so well. The writing wasn't too lacking either. There were some jokes and gags that failed, but those are few and far between, as there's so much more that worked in this film. The recurring twins gag, the campus chase scene, the parents day, anything happening at the 22 Jump Street facility, Vietnamese Jesus, the closing credits, etc. There's so much to sink your teeth into even without mentioning the fantastic one-liners and dialogue. The comedy was great and the story, which is mostly the same is good as well. There's more development in new characters, while there's a few good scenes where they really got to let emotion shine through. It wasn't just all comedy, this movie had a ton of heart. The action wasn't lacking either as I highly enjoyed the chase scenes, explosions and combat throughout the film. It was never too serious and always done in a lighthearted way. I love that about this film. The fact it was just fun, funny and easy to watch the whole way through.

"He has one class in Human Sexuality, and now he's Harvey Milk."

If this was how all comedic sequels were done, there would be a lot less flops in the comedy side of cinema. This film and the upcoming 'Horrible Bosses 2' are movies I've been highly looking forward to. One film I already love, this one, and I'm hoping they can do another good follow-up with 'Horrible Bosses 2.' Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are having a helluva year between '22 Jump Street' and 'The LEGO Movie.' While I liked the latter more, '22 Jump Street' is still one of the best comedies this year. The comedy, action, acting and writing is all done well. Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube and the rest of the cast reprise their roles really well and that contributes a ton to the overall feel. This is a film that doesn't try to be more than it is, a sequel cashing in on the success of the original. The biggest difference is, '22 Jump Street' nails it completely.

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