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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

22 JUMP STREET: Just as Fun as the First

In an age where Hollywood sequels are to be expected, where many fans immediately clamor for more stories about characters and worlds that they love, it isn’t shocking to see a sequel to 2012’s surprise hit comedy 21 Jump Street hit theatres this month. And in a time when most sequels contain overblown budgets, stale characterization and ridiculous plots, it wouldn’t be at all out of line to assume that said 21 Jump Street sequel would be terrible.

But if you were assuming so, well… you’d be wrong.

Credit Columbia Pictures &  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Credit Columbia Pictures &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

22 Jump Street, directed by the clever duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, once again stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as Jenko and Schmidt, cops and unlikely best friends. After a spectacularly botched assignment on the force, they’re sent back to the Jump Street division and given a new mission: go undercover as Brad & Doug McQuaid to a local college, where they must investigate a drug ring by infiltrating the dealers and finding the supplier.

Sounding familiar? Absolutely. And 22 Jump Street knows it.

The best thing about 22 Jump Street is that it’s incredibly self-aware. Meta commentary and humor is fairly common in film nowadays, and Jump Street does it well. Everyone involved knows that the first film’s success was a shock—they’re aware that their entire franchise is based on reusing past material, and they run with it. They aren’t afraid to admit that what they’re doing shouldn’t work as well as it does, and acknowledge that their sequel might fully well be terrible. But they do this with humor and cleverness, making it easy for the audience to get on board with what they’re doing. They know the franchise is ridiculous, and it makes them laugh just as much as it makes the audience laugh. And it’s far more fun to laugh with someone than at them.

Credit Columbia Pictures &  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Credit Columbia Pictures &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

While they’ve stuck with a formula that has clearly served them well in the past, 22 Jump Street ramps up the story and adds enough twists and laughs to keep things feeling fun. Laughed at Jenko and Schmidt’s drug trip in the first film? Here’s another one that’s just as hilarious and just different enough to keep it feeling original. Liked the original’s comedic action sequences? Have a ridiculous chase with the main characters driving around in a car shaped like a football helmet. Even the first film’s friendship arc and bromantic dynamics are ramped up for the second one, introducing new characters that challenge Schmidt and Jenko’s bond in entertaining ways. 22 Jump Street has the same type of humor as its predecessor, and manages to be similar without feeling samey. The film even ends on a high note, with more clever, tongue-in-cheek humour in the credits.

Hill and Tatum are once again an entertaining pair that play well off each other; lines from both of them that could have only been adlibbed land well with audiences. But possibly the film’s biggest laughs come from Ice Cube’s Captain Dickson—with a relatively small amount of screen time in the first film, his role is bigger in the sequel and he’s given some hilarious scenes. Jillian Bell is also notable as Mercedes, the invasive and oddball roommate of Schmidt’s sort-of girlfriend. The character could have been irritating and eyeroll-worthy in the hands of another actress, but Bell plays Mercedes with just enough derision and contempt to make the whole thing entertaining.

Credit Columbia Pictures &  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Credit Columbia Pictures &
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

With sequels bombing left and right and disappointing fans over and over, it’s understandable that those going to see 21 Jump Street’s sequel are excited but wary about what the new installment may bring. No one wants to have a comedy they love soured by something subpar and mediocre. But worry not! 22 Jump Street is a self-aware, over the top, ridiculous comedy, just like the first—and the franchise’s fans couldn’t have asked for more.

22 Jump Street opened to a fantastic $57.1 million domestically over the weekend, and continues to perform strongly throughout the week. It is now in theatres around the world, opening in more cities over the next few weekends.

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One Comment on “22 JUMP STREET: Just as Fun as the First”

  1. Sunny Waseem July 2, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

    Watched it, LOVED it!

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