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’22 Jump Street’ a rare sufficient comedy sequel

By Mason Lazarcheff / For The Pitt News

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“22 Jump Street”

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube

Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Grade: B

“You boys are going to college.” Those were the last words we heard in the 2012 comedy film reboot of the serious ‘80s TV show “21 Jump Street.”  

In “22 Jump Street,” Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return for another hilarious adventure as they go undercover as college students to find the source of a prominent new drug. Like in the first film, Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) go off on different paths to take down the drug suppliers with some bromantic fallout along the way.

Tatum proves once again that he has a funny side, with great one-liners and deliberate exaggeration, while Hill shines with a combination of humor seen in “Superbad” and “Get Him to the Greek,” providing strong responses to awkward situations and adept physical comedy to complement the well-written dialogue. Both play a huge role throughout the film but much of the credit is owed to writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.  

One of the film’s major pitfalls is the repetition and over-extension of jokes, which becomes clear in the opening sequence, which takes place on a loading dock where Hill pretends to be a Mexican drug dealer. He converses with the bad guys while trying to convince them that he isn’t a cop. Hill’s attempt goes on and on without a foreseeable end.

Later in the movie, Jenko joins a fraternity and the football team in tandem, since both groups share many of the same members. Jenko slides into the lifestyle of a football-playing frat boy with ease but soon realizes that his daily routine of working out and partying is trite and tiresome. Jenko proves to be a more notable character in the sequel as he, not Schmidt, is the one who is finding his place in a group.

That is not to suggest that Hill doesn’t keep up with Tatum, though. With the lack of strong dialogue for his character, Hill instead relies on visual gags. Most of his bigger moments were revealed in the trailer but some scenes, like a repeated morning-after “walk of shame” are satisfying showcases for Hill. Despite his status as the top-billed actor, it is hard to shake the feeling that he was relegated to the secondary lead this time around. 

As a portrayal of the college experience, “22” proves to be a bit more wild and crazy than the reality of cracking the books and going to class. As a sequel, it is just as out of the ordinary — a second installment that manages to be just as entertaining as its predecessor.

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’22 Jump Street’ a rare sufficient comedy sequel