Sunday, 8 June 2014

22 Jump Street - review

When Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum's Schmidt and Jenko fail to capture a drug dealer during an explosive aid at Metro City Port because they, as Nick Offerman's Deputy Chief Hardy, "weren't doing the same undercover student thing as last time".

"Do the same thing. Everyone's happy."

And so begins what is arguably the most self-aware and meta film ever constructed.

With the number of knowing winks to the pitfalls and genre cliches of sequels, their increased budget, flashier gadgets and cars, etc its amazing Hill and Tatum kept both eyes open the entire movie.

Their unexpected (and at times unspoken) bromance remains the heart of the film and becomes the main focus as they repeat the same plot: go to school, wait no, college, infiltrate the dealers, find the supplier.

While the film starts to sag slightly in the middle with the repetition of beats from the original film and the constant rom-com comparisons with Jenko and Schmidt's partnership, it is easy to forgive when the jokes are this consistently funny.

Highlights include the funniest poetry slam since Mike Myers's "woman, woman, woman" poem in So I Married An Axe Murderer, Ice Cube's dinner table etiquette and the world's finest Cate Blanchett joke (which I freely admit to having used twice already in normal conversation).

Hill and Tatum once again deserve high praise for their comic delivery and on screen chemistry but the prize for the film's best double act goes to Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

"Everything is awesome" in 2014 for Lord Miller because along with The LEGO Movie they have delivered the two funniest films of the year and proved that they are the most visually inventive and creative action comedy directors since Edgar Wright.

Any worries that they might have blown their comedy load prematurely this year are put to rest with the funniest end credits sequence I can remember that shows they have LOTS of ideas for the rest of the Asian churches residing on Jump Street.

4 stars

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