Film Review – 22 Jump Street (2014)

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Title – 22 Jump Street (2014)

Director – Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie)

Cast – Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Amber Stevens, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Wyatt Russell

Plot – After a successful undercover operation in high school, buddy cop duo Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are tasked with heading to college by boss Captain Dickson (Cube) and uncovering more criminals which includes underworld figure The Ghost (Stormare).

 “I’m your best ni… I’m your worst nightmare!”

Review by Eddie on 20/06/2014

21 Jump Street was a real surprise hit upon release in 2012, for surely a film spoofing a cult 1980’s TV show and starring the seemingly mismatched parring of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum was doomed and destined for the mediocre bin and middling box office takings. 21 Jump Street however defied many of the expectations lashed upon it and became not only a hit with critics, but audiences and evidently box office kitty. What made 21 Jump Street such a breakout hit it is fair to say was the low expectation heaped upon it but now with 2 years in the making and a continual rise in popularity for both Hill and Tatum expectations are a lot higher for this particular comedy venture so is it worth the hype? Judging by its box office takings so far you’d be led to believe it’s a resounding yes.

22 Jump Street is that odd type of film, a film that remains highly enjoyable without ever once threatening to break out into anything highly memorable. Like a stick of fairy floss, the film is sweet while it lasts but once it’s finished you’d be hard pressed to remember what was so enjoyable about it in the first place. A major plus for directors Lord and Miller (who have at present an unprecedented hit ratio with their films) is of course the pairing of Hill and Tatum who found such golden chemistry together in the first film and that continues on here. Hill as Schmidt and Tatum as Jenko just feels so right and anytime the two actors are together on screen the film transcends whatever goofy or immature gag it’s setting up, but once the two are separated the films quite obvious flaws are made far too evident.

While the first film in the series is anything but high class or quality storytelling (and really doesn’t need to be) the sequel seems to bask in its own ability to re-tread similar plot points (actually referenced numerous times throughout the film as though it’s funny to re-hash) to the first and produce a story that barely allows any character growth and eventually repeats many jokes that worked well in the first due to a feeling of originality which is here blanketed by audience expectation. Lord and Miller certainly keep the pace at a high level but there is no getting over the fact that bar some nice moments from Ice Cube as angry Captain Dickson the films supports and again leads on their own are quite lacklustre. Newcomers to the series including renowned character actor Peter Stormare and Kurt Russell’s very own Wyatt Russell remain all sadly forgettable in a bare bones story.

With added weight of expectation and with two lead actors who now know their respective characters back to front, 22 Jump Street should’ve and could’ve been a whole lot better. The film still has its fair share of charms thanks to the lead duos intact chemistry and Lord and Miller as always show flair when it comes to their direction and there revelling in keeping things stupid can be commended but the film can’t hide the fact that what it produces is light, slight and bright entertainment that we’d be hard pressed to care about a couple of weeks from now. A third entry into the series may be pushing this ventures welcome to far.

3 inappropriately hidden hand grenades out of 5

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13 responses to “Film Review – 22 Jump Street (2014)

  1. I have never seen the first one, I would probably like them though as they are from the Lego Movie directors (who also did Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs).

  2. Having never seen the original I decided to go see this. Whilst it was enjoyable I felt that most of the best gags had been revealed in the trailers and that ultimately spoilt my final opinion.

  3. Almost entirely agree Eddie. I think this is very funny on occasion, consistently chuckle-worthy at the very least, and Tatum-Hill share an engrossing chemistry. However it really lacks depth, particularly in moments – as you mentioned – involving the two and their characters’ separation. Excellent review!

    Adam.

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