After an clever, ‘Previously on Jump Street,’ television style opening — something I’ve personally never seen on the silver screen before — 22 Jump Street gets off to a slightly slow, seen-it-all-before, kind of start, but luckily the unyielding gags, which persistently roll in at a steady pace, and the solid bromance between the picture’s leading males — which won audience over back in 2012 — again succeeds in capturing filmgoers interest and attention, transforming 22 Jump Street into the raging, unhinged ride it promises to be.
Seeing as 21 Jump Street was somewhat of a surprise hit, 22 Jump Street has evidentially been given a, somewhat unnecessarily, larger budget — which the film’s characters are well aware of, constantly alluding to its perks and disadvantages — and while the film, being totally self-aware, claims that, ‘everything in this picture is exactly like the first,’ frivolously mocking Hollywood sequels and openly commenting on studios repeating aged-old formulas, 22 Jump Street is a totally unpredictable, anything-goes state of affairs.
After going undercover as noticeably mature high-school students to bust open an up-market drug-ring in 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street opens where Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) attempt to take their partnership to the streets, pursuing drug dealers. After failing miserably in the attempted capture of a group of dealers led by Ghost (Peter Stormare), Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) puts the duo back on the exact same program that made them a success the first time around, though now working from 22 Jump Street — a Vietnamese church across the street from the Korean church that served as a base of operations in the first film. There, the belligerent Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) assigns Shmidt and Jenko to once again pose as conspicuously mature college students to bust up yet another designer drug ring.
Being the second live action picture directed by the duo, it’s evident that Lord and Miller simply have a knack for reveling in self-awareness. Additionally, the two tend not to separate their more zany ideas whether they’re directing for live action or animated features — there is an outrageously comical scene toward the start of 22 Jump Street that plays out exactly like a cartoon, where an octopus gets attached to Schmidt’s (Jonah Hill) face. Throughout proceedings, it’s obvious that Lord and Miller are exceedingly expert gag smiths, so tuned into modern popular culture and equally skilled at layering jokes — whether it be silly, slapstick, visual, verbal, referential, throwaway or carefully orchestrated comedy — the laughs in 22 Jump Street just keep on coming, hard and fast.