Bashing the Beaver
Well the arcade game was actually called ‘Whack A Mole’ but for it’s euphemistic (ever returning) qualities, we’ll stick with beaver. It set’s the tone nicely for the second school outing for the incredibility undynamic duo that is Schimdt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum), as they’ve popped up before us again in yet another escapade (of no doubt many to come, but more on that later) of defective detective misadventures in ‘22 Jump Street’, the continuing botched antics, again directed by the incredible team that is Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who are themselves becoming comedy movie powerhouses (The Lego Movie being one of the best things I’ve seen in years).
Starting off with a segment of ‘previously on’ as is the norm in TV land, it takes self awareness to whole new heights. There is zero chance of exploitation happening when the movie you are watching raises EVERY single comment/distrust (and then some) of an apparent rehash laziness aboard what is the norm in movie conveyor belt movie production. Let’s face it, there are so many rubbish movies that come out, still expecting you to part with £15 (I live in London) for a very mediocre/zero return, it’s no joke.
‘22 Jump Street’ is not going to be added to the bargain bin pile. This is clearly made by folk who want to entertain the hell out of you, giving you absolute returns on your investment in the Jump team, and keep you smiling for years after (it’s absolutely a movie to buy on DVD later).
The premise is established immediately, it’s going to be exactly the same as the first movie, well except that they’ve moved across the street, otherwise it’s the same. This mantra is repeated quite a few times with such a beautiful audacity that can only come with the confidence in that they know they have a great package. Of course it’s not exactly the same, but it’s a great device for making you leave any issues at the cinema door. Run with it and you’ll have an amazing time, don’t, well why are you at this movie?
Schimdt and Jenko (Channing really is a natural for brilliant comedy work) have beautiful deluded self belief that of course very rarely gets results, in it not being backed up with any apparent talent. So they’ve been sent to college to track down the distributors of a new potentially dangerous drug called WHY PHY (Work Hard Yes, Play Hard Yes). They didn’t get away with looking young in the previous adventure, they most certainly aren’t getting away with it in this one either, for the entire movie.
It runs pretty parallel to the arc of the first chapter, but never lets you down in laughs both in self awareness (almost joke meta selfies) and the blend of intelligent/puerile jokes sitting blissfully side by side on the pillow of bromance. There’s plenty of nuanced comedy moments too, Benny Hill having a college named after him was a very nice touch. Rather brilliantly Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) gets loads more screen time, where just a look from him will have you in stitches laughing, he actually steals the show on numerous times. And there’s a few other familiar faces to add to the laugh chaos. None of these moments I want to write about as you NEED to experience them yourself.
If you loved the first one, you’ll love this one too. There’s no doubt this is a franchise, which is fantastically exploited in the end credits, where they show trailers for potential follow up exploits, and we’re not talking about one or two trailers, we’re talking this franchise NEVER ends. It’s a beautiful (very well made) knowing laugh at itself. And in the ever expanding trend (to force folk to watch 10hrs of credits), there’s an Easter Egg at the end of the credits too, and it is worth sticking round for.
It’s all brilliant, VERY funny stuff, crafted by folk who want to give you full value for your hard earned cash, and make you laugh ALOT. Looking back I gave ‘21 Jump Street’ 9/10, and in theory I should deduct a point to rethreading familiar territory, but that would go against the good vibe spirit of team Jump, and I’m looking forward to further cases.
22 Jump Street is out now