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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Movie Review - 22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street (2014)
Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Peter Stormare, and Ice Cube
Directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

From the film's opening moments, the screenwriters of 22 Jump Street has the characters inform us that their film is going to be, for all intents and purposes, a rehash of the successful 21 Jump Street released two years prior.  By blatantly spelling out the repetition we'll be seeing, certain expectations are created (or perhaps certain expectations are lessened) which bode well in director Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's favor with the film providing quite a few solid laughs, but unfortunately overstaying its welcome by having an action-packed third act never seems to want to end.

The chemistry of leads Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko who head off to college to unearth an illegal drug ring is certainly what brings the humor to 22 Jump Street.  Without these two amiable fellows, this near carbon copy of the original film would've fallen flat.  However, fortunately, Hill and Tatum continue to impress with the charming, humorous bromance that they bring to the screen.  I'm still surprised by Tatum's ability to make me laugh and how much Hill's character in this series is oddly endearing which is something I don't find to be the case in some of his other comedic works.

Still, despite many laugh out loud moments in the film's opening two acts, 22 Jump Street takes a turn towards the action comedy realm in the final 45 minutes and it falls flatter than it should considering the impressively enjoyable story that precedes it.  Rather than wrap things up quickly, we're forced into watching what is essentially two denouements strung out as lengthy as possible with some poorly conceived comedic routines peppered into some poorly developed action sequences.  The combination doesn't work here and it's a shame given the goodwill the audience feels during the flick's first two thirds.  I'd still love to see a 23 Jump Street particularly because of the nice repartee between Hill and Tatum, but this sequel was a bit of a letdown.

The RyMickey Rating:  C+

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