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22 Jump Street (2014)

| June 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

If you fell in love with 21 Jump Street, it might interest you to know that the 22 Jump Street is the exact same movie. The bad news is that this time no one appears to have had any interest in making the sequel funny. Here is a movie in which the cleverest element is that the filmmakers have figured out a way to engineer their lack of creativity and imagination into a central joke in which the characters acknowledge that they’re in a bad movie. Fine, but we’re still stuck with a BAD MOVIE!!

22 Jump Street is a lazy, boring, low-flying comedy that goes no place fast. If we complain that the state of American films is declining at the hands of an industry that hitches its wagon to safe franchises and brand names, then movies like 22 Jump Street may someday serve as an example of the kind of movie that caused it to sink into oblivion. It’s a void, a dead zone, an unhappy place where creative ideas go to die. Yeah, it’s that bad.

The movie opens with a pretty clever joke. Undercover cops Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum respectively) are told by the laconic Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman from “Parks and Recreation”) that they are going back into the Jump Street program. The Korean church has been reclaimed by the Koreans, so the program has been moved across the street to 22 Jump Street – The Vietnamese church. Even still, the boys can’t help noticing that 23 Jump Street is under construction down the way. Jenko speculates that they’ll be there in two years. Schmidt reasons: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” That’s clever in a 30 second ad sort of way.

That’s also the only funny moment in the movie. Chief Hardy admits that the boys got lucky the first time. That’s true because the first film, despite it’s formula premise, was clever and funny. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum had a lot of bromantic chemistry. They don’t get lucky the second time – not even close. Here, the committee thinking seems to have convinced everyone involved that what worked in the original would work here.

This time the boys attend M.C. State to stop the sale of a drug called “WhyPhy”, a mixture of Adderall and Esctasy. The point is to find the crooks who are about to dump this drug onto campuses all across the country. In other words, you could find this plot on a TV cop show for free any night of the week. It doesn’t work as a cop buddy movie, nor as a college campus comedy. Compare this with a much better campus comedy from last year Monsters University. That film had characters and energy and a story. This one has a running joke about a drunk jock trying to knock over the goal post. Ho-hum.

22 Jump Street is just a case of cynical thinking. Director Phil Lord – just off his triumph after directing The LEGO Movie – turns in a comedy that flops over and dies. What’s wrong with this movie? Everything. The jokes are tired. The action scenes are boring. The production looks lazy. The actors don’t care. The supporting characters are generic. Everyone involved in this movie gave up on day one. This is the kind of movie that puts you in a bad mood.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2014) View IMDB Filed in: Action, Comedy, Recent