22 Jump Street

WRITTEN BY: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rotham
DIRECTED BY: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
STARRING: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Amber Stevens, Ice Cube, Peter Stormare
RATING: 3.5 stars

21 Jump Street worked well because the filmmakers were making fun of the idea of creating a film based on a 20-year-old television show. It was hilarious and had fantastic cameos from many of the original television cast. In 22 Jump Street, the filmmakers are making fun of the idea of creating a second film when so many comedy sequels before have failed to generate laughs and impress audiences. It is that self-awareness that helps elevate 22 Jump Street above so many other action comedy sequels. It is still poking fun at action films and the bromances between lead characters in such films, although it perhaps pushes the homoerotic point a little too far in the sequel. Ultimately, 22 Jump Street is not as clever as the first film, but it still has plenty of laughs.

Schmidt (Jonah Hill), Jenko (Channing Tatum) and their undercover team have moved across the road to 22 Jump Street. This time, the pair must pose as students at a University to take down a drug ring that has been selling a dangerous new narcotic called WHYPHY, pronounced like wifi. As part of their investigation, Jenko becomes a member of the football team and befriends fellow player Zook (Wyatt Russell) who is suspected of being involved in the drug dealing, while Schmidt starts spending time with Maya (Amber Stevens) who lives across the hallway from one of the victims. But as the duo take different paths in the investigation and make new friends, it starts to effect the solidarity of their partnership.

Hill and Tatum look like they are having fun and that in turn makes the viewing experience all the more enjoyable. There are a lot of gags about their obvious physical differences and the film certainly milks it for all it is worth. Russell, who is the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, is also surprisingly funny. Stevens is a welcome addition, as is Peter Stormare who plays the villain. Ice Cube also returns as the Jump Street boss and he has some of the funniest scenes. 
Make sure you stick around for the end credits because there are some funny jokes and a surprise for fans of the original television show.