Review: 22 JUMP STREET (2014) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Review: 22 JUMP STREET (2014)

Although not as well-paced as the first movie, 22 JUMP STREET remains a worthwhile sequel that delivers plenty of laughs.

Thanks to the unlikely winning combo of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, Phil Lord and Chris Miller's first live-action debut on 21 JUMP STREET was one of the biggest surprise hits in 2012. The success, of course, led to an inevitable sequel two years later with 22 JUMP STREET. Like the first movie, the formula is pretty much retained here in 22 JUMP STREET with varying degree of success.

Picked up exactly where the first movie left off with Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) uttering the line, "You two son of bitches are going to college!", Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are quickly back into undercover assignment again. Except this time, the job is hardly the kind they would expect at all. Instead, they force to sit through watching lectures through an online college course while looking for coded message. The coded message, in turn, will bring them to their following assignment where they are supposed to apprehend the notorious drug dealer known as The Ghost (Peter Stormare). Unfortunately, they botches their assignment big time and their deputy chief (Nick Offerman) isn't very pleased about it. Soon they are transferred to Captain Dickson's new office across the street at 22 Jump Street and assigned to go undercover as college students at MC State to find out the mysterious supplier of a new synthetic drug known as WHYPHY (pronounced as "Wi-Fi").
Fresh off from the unexpected success with THE LEGO MOVIE earlier this year, returning directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller again excels a lot in the comedy department. Fans of the first movie will definitely enjoyed most of the sequel's rampant deliveries of profanity and sex jokes, while the directors always have their own unique ways to come up with colourful visual gags. Case in point here is the hallucination-induced animated sequence where Schmidt and Jenko find themselves trapped in two different worlds (one is dark, another one is bright) after unexpectedly eaten too much cookies spiked with WHYPHY drugs. Action sequences are decent enough, such as the opening getaway truck scene at the harbour and the action-filled finale set during a spring break in Puerto Mexico.

For the second time in the row since 21 JUMP STREET, the sequel is again benefits from the terrific chemistry between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. They are the absolute anchors for the movie that provided most of the laughs here, and it's especially fun watching them parodying their bromance moments together in such gleeful manner. Ice Cube gets better than he did the first time around as the foul-mouthed Captain Dickson, and almost steals the show especially in a few scenes where he becomes all furious upon learning Schmidt's unintentional mistake. Jillian Bell, in the meantime, delivers a breakthrough performance as Maya's (Amber Stevens) sarcastic roommate, Mercedes, who gets particularly bored with the intimate presence of Schmidt and Maya.

The scene where Captain Dickson throwing tantrum at a restaurant buffet; the amusing car chase scene between a Hummer and helmet-shaped football cart around the college area; the parody sequence of MR. & MRS. SMITH involving an awkward fistfight moment between Schmidt and Mercedes; and the wacky end-credit sequence featuring a montage that parodies possible sequel titles and plot synopses to 22 JUMP STREET.

Although 22 JUMP STREET manages to milk plenty of laugh-out loud moments, the movie still has its fair share of misses. Some of the comedic moments either feels forceful or trite, while the movie suffers from erratic pace throughout its lengthy two-hour running time that tends to overstay its welcome.

Another problem is the lack of mostly strong supporting actors that otherwise played well in the first movie. Beyonce's look-alike Amber Stevens is all cute and photogenic but hardly impresses much as Schmidt's new love interest, Maya. In fact, Brie Larson, who played Schmidt's previous love interest, Molly in 21 JUMP STREET and also curiously missing in this sequel, is far better than Stevens here. Wyatt Russell, who plays Jenko's new BFF, Zook is forgettable while Peter Stormare disappoints with another typical bad-guy performance.


While 22 JUMP STREET doesn't exactly lives up to the first movie, the movie remains reasonably fun and entertaining sequel worth checking out for.

* This review is written courtesy from Sony Pictures Malaysia press screening *

No comments: