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22 Jump Street Movie Review
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Written by Michael Bacall, Jonah Hill, Oren Uziel, and Rodney Rothman
Release Date: 13 June 2014
Running Time: 112 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Editorís Rating: 4 out of 4 fourth walls busted
I donít know when the zeitgeist of modern comedy movies shifted from Judd Apatow bro-humor to this slightly more refined version where Hollywood makes fun of itself but still thinks bro-gay-jokes are the best, but I appreciate it. Watching 22 Jump Street is a bit like watching the shows VH1 did in the 2000s mocking the 1980s and 90s, (I donít remember the names, and Iím not going to look them up because they were terrible) but actually with a throughline and sense of humor rather than a dollar-store treatment of the easiest jokes of the era.
Usually when I do these reviews I like to open with a quick rundown of the first act of the film, but since this film has the pacing of a rabid squirrel and a bunch of surprises to it, I donít feel comfortable doing any kind of recap. Suffice it to say, thereís a new drug in college, and Schmidt and Jenko need to come in and save the day.
Where 22 succeeds is knowing where to throw its jokes and when. It finds a really smart balance with crude humor, not-so-subtle industry puns (any scene with Nick Offerman, who is the perfect embodiment of corporate Hollywood in this film), and pop culture references. The pacing I mentioned before is beneficial to the wide variety of comedy on display, to the point that you honestly cannot get bored with the film. If anything, you might exacerbate any existing ADHD symptoms.
A second ago I mentioned Nick Offerman in passing. His role of the deputy police chief plays directly into his strengths. It's one of the very many effective side characters that makes this film feel like it wasnít a halfhearted attempt to cash in on the success of the original, even when the film itself tells you to your face thatís exactly what it is. Ice Cube is Ice Cube, and thankfully thatís all the film needs to make him hilarious, and the little cameo from Queen Latifah as his wife is also well cast. Rob Riggle and Dave Francoís characters from the first film show up again as call mates, serving their sentences in prison. Itís... interesting, to say the least. An unexpected gem in the film comes from Jillian Bell, the blonde-headed counterpart to Jonah Hillís deadpan fourth-grade-insult generator. Sheís always witty and quick, to where even though you know youíre watching a movie, you have to believe that some of the things she says could only come from off the top of her head. This actually brings me to my final point.
This film feels natural while discussing and interacting with stupidly esoteric stuff, either due to the talent of the actors or the writers, and to be honest, I donít know whose hand to shake. I came into seeing this movie expecting a crap reshuffling of a rather well-done spoof/tribute film, and I got it. What I didnít expect was laughing until tears rolled down my face.
THIS IS WHERE THE ďDONíT LET KIDS WATCH THISĒ WARNING GOES. DONíT LET KIDS WATCH THIS. ITíS ABOUT DRUG TRAFFICKING AND EVEN THOUGH IT HAS THE FAT KID FROM SUPERBAD IN IT, THATíS NO--
ACTUALLY, YES, THATíS THE PERFECT REASON TO NOT LET YOUR KIDS SEE THIS MOVIE. WHY DID YOU LET THEM SEE SUPERBAD IN THE FIRST PLACE? WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? DO YOU REALLY WANT THEM TO GROW UP THINKING TEEN GIRLS LIKE CRAP BOOZE LIKE GOLDSCHLAGER, LET ALONE KNOW WHAT IT IS?
HEREíS A QUICK LESSON: JUST STOP.
HAVE THEM RE-WATCH FROZEN FOR THE FIFTY THOUSANDTH TIME OR SOMETHING. JEEZ.
**I rented this film from a giant red vending machine that spits out DVDs. I was also not offered money for this review either, though I wouldnít have turned it down.**
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