Having never seen the original TV series, I assume I missed a lot of the inside jokes used in the film 21 Jump Street (2012). Now I’m up to speed. If there was anything to miss in 22 Jump Street, I’m sure I didn’t miss it.
Script issues top the list of this film’s problems – the adjectives ‘incoherent’ and ‘uneven’ come to mind. Also, ‘sophomoric’ and ‘juvenile.’ After seeing 22JS, I learned that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were heavily committed to The Lego Movie, released February of this year, and had no time for 22JS script revisions before filming began. The same goes for the film’s editors. They must also have been too busy to do any editing work.
While mildly amusing, 22JS primarily relies on the star power of Tatum Channing and Jonah Hill to carry the buddy-buddy storyline. They’re back from their successful first film together, where they teamed up as cops doing high school drug busts.
This time they’re off to college to stop more baddies pushing the bad stuff to innocent students. The students drink and party so much that they should be hungover for the entire semester, and have no need for expensive drugs – just more beer money. There are lots of frat parties and classroom hijinks, while the guys try to finger the dealer in hopes of stopping the drug supply.
TC gets involved in college football, forming a partnership with the hippy-dippy super quarterback played by Wyatt Hawn Russell – son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. He does a good job of upholding the family name. Meanwhile JH is on his own and teams up with a cute female poetry major.
Ice Cube once again plays the police captain, snarling and cursing a lot. IC has the best scene in the film, which takes place at a nice luncheon. (Ice cubes also play a big role in the gallons of the mixed drinks being consumed).
The movie is framed by the prerequisite big chase scene at the beginning and a big closing action scene at the end. I’ve already described what happens in between. It’s not much of a film, but it manages to redeem some of viewers’ lost time with a clever end title sequence – preparing us for what we will no doubt see in sequels 23 through 40 Jump Street. There’s also a cameo by another marquee-caliber star. If you go, stay for these scenes played over the first half of the credits. Better still, come for the end and miss the rest of the movie.
Rated 2.0 out of 4.0. OK, make that 2.5 out of 4.0 because of the end credits. A real sequel will depend of the box office results.