“22 Jump Street” isn’t just one of the best comedies of the year, it’s one of the most adept, intelligent and thoughtful spoof movies ever made. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as the leads with comic chemistry that rivals Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, a true “odd couple.” With many self-aware jokes throughout making fun of Hollywood, sequels and the entertainment industry, it’s impossible not to have the time of your life at the theater. Directed by Chris Miller and Phil Lord (who also directed possibly the 2nd funniest movie of the year, “The Lego Movie”) “22 Jump Street” is truly a laugh-per-minute comedy. In fact, a few times you’ll struggle to catch your breath. The pace is that fast, but it’s more that each joke hits a bulls eye with such force, it will leave you a little punch drunk by the midway point. Ice Cube, Nick Offerman and Rob Riggle return to deliver laughs in short, but important roles.
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However, it’s Hill and Tatum’s show from the beginning. Once again, they set each other up perfectly. These are two selfless performers who compliment each other so well, that it’s a wonder these two didn’t find each other earlier in their careers. Another thing I truly appreciate, is that “22 Jump Street” is fearless and goes for the jugular multiple times. It highlights the insane political correctness that has developed in our society, offering refreshing punch lines to set ups written with intellectual thought and perfect execution. It’s a movie that never relies on fart jokes to be funny, showing that you can revel in immature indulgences without resorting to clichés. It’s a movie that realizes “dumb” humor still relies on the timing and delivery of the performers.
There are far too many surprises for people to enjoy in this movie, including one of the funniest post-credits sequences ever written, but I promise not to spoil any of them. It’s a movie billed as more of the same (it’s a running gag throughout), but as a companion to the original, it is the rare sequel that adds depth to its predecessor. 21 Jump Street plays like a movie trying something different. “22 Jump Street” plays like a movie with confident filmmakers and performances. Chris Miller, Phil Lord, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill know what they are doing is funny this time around. I think they had a hunch back in 2012, but now they aren’t afraid to push boundaries, uncover hypocrisies by both audiences and Hollywood and to embrace the eccentric scenes that you don’t typically see in a summer comedy.
It’s not a mainstream movie, but after making $60 million dollars at the box office in its opening weekend, the filmmakers have proved a point and converted a doubter like myself. People will still see risky movies with intelligence. Tyler Perry hasn’t cornered profitability for the genre. The right actors need to be in place, but if you’re willing to get in the Lamborghini (it will make sense after seeing the movie), “22 Jump Street” offers up an unforgettable and unique (not exactly a buzz word in Hollywood these days) experience. FULL PRICE (duh).