Those masters of having their genre-parody cake and eating it too, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, have followed up their sly, self-referential franchise reboot “21 Jump Street” with an inevitable sequel that is, at least in part, a sly, self-referencing commentary on the inevitability of sequels. Reuniting producer-stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum for a second round of poorly camouflaged undercover antics, “22 Jump Street” swaps high school for college and prom for spring break but otherwise sticks snugly to the prior film’s winning formula, mining the resultant doublings and repetitions for maximum absurdist hilarity. (Think Samuel Beckett’s “Animal House.”) Given both Hill and Tatum’s ever-increasing zeitgeist value, the pic should have little trouble besting its predecessor’s $200 million worldwide haul, giving “Lego Movie” helmers Lord and Miller their second B.O. smash of 2014.
Much as “21 Jump Street” managed to simultaneously tip its hat and thumb its nose at its 1980s fourth-network source material, so “22 Jump Street” wears its sequel-ness on its sleeve, from an opening “previously on” recap (including a wry “Annie Hall” homage not seen in the original film) to its inspired closing montage of concepts for future “Jump Street” sequels (culinary school! ninja school!). In between, returning screenwriter Michael Bacall and co-writers Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman pick up exactly where “21” left off, with officers Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) heading off to college on a new assignment for their beleaguered deputy chief (Nick Offerman), who winkingly cautions that things “are always worse the second time.”
As it happens, it’s an online university to which the partners have been dispatched, charged with ferreting out coded messages in the classroom lectures of a bloviating philosophy professor. But after letting a wanted kingpin (Peter Stormare) slip through their hands — a hilarious episode that builds to a great, Harold Lloyd-worthy bit of death-defying slapstick — Jenko and Schmidt find themselves back on Jump Street, back under the thumb of the dyspeptic Capt. Dickson (Ice Cube), and once again donning their alter egos of brothers Brad and Doug McQuaid to infiltrate a suspected drug-trafficking ring at a local university.
Whereas high school redux proved an unexpected season in hell for Jenko (whose macho, bullying ways were hopelessly out of step with the PC times) and a boon for the nerdy Schmidt (who suddenly found himself in with the “in” crowd), college life turns out to be very much the inverse. Proud to be the first person in his family “to pretend to go to college,” Jenko quickly emerges as a prime catch for the MC State football team, as well as for an elite fraternity house whose alpha-male president Zook (Wyatt Russell) may just be the dealer Dickson is trying to bust. But Jenko isn’t nearly so sure, and as he and Zook become fast BFFs, Schmidt finds himself all out of love and hopelessly lost without his erstwhile wingman — until, that is, he falls for beautiful art major Maya (Amber Stevens), who, for reasons not immediately apparent, should come labeled “Look But Don’t Touch.”
The college scenes are, like a lot of what Lord and Miller do, hit-and-miss, with a loosely stitched-together improv-comedy feel (in keeping with its self-reflexive spirit, the film even includes an onscreen conversation about the relative merits of scripted and unscripted comedy). But “22 Jump Street” hits far more often than it misses, and even when it misses by a mile, the effort is so delightfully zany that it’s hard not to give Lord and Miller an “A” for effort. Almost worth the price of admission alone: Schmidt’s impromptu participation in a slam poetry contest, a cheerfully Dada piece of performance art that can stand shoulder to shoulder with Ron Burgundy’s jazz-flute solo from the first “Anchorman” movie. The writers have also fleshed out the sequel with a smattering of new characters that give several bright young comic performers a chance to shine, especially twin brothers Keith and Kenny Lucas as a set of half-black, half-Chinese twins who suggest stoner-doofus versions of the jive-talking passengers from “Airplane!,” and “Workaholics” alum Jillian Bell, who brings a demented kewpie-doll intensity to the role of Maya’s unstable roommate.
A movie this self-aware might easily drown in its own ironic detachment, but as they did so deftly in both “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie,” Lord and Miller balance their smartypants meta-humor with go-for-broke pratfalls and a certain fundamental sincerity that keeps the characters relatable without ever veering into straight-faced emotionalism. (When it seems that the movie might, along comes a good, old-fashioned crotch-grabbing gag to lighten the air.) Perhaps owing to their background in animation (where they did “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”), Lord and Miller also know how to sell a joke visually better than most contemporary comedy directors, and “22 Jump Street” is rife with delightful throwaway visual gags, from De Palma-esque split screens to a car chase (between Hummer and helmet-shaped golf cart) that might have been designed by ‘60s-era Richard Lester.
Eventually, all roads lead to spring break in “Puerto Mexico” — a conspicuously less decadent gathering than the one envisaged by Harmony Korine, though it hardly matters, because whenever Hill and Tatum are onscreen together the movie enters a blissful realm that nothing can violate. Both actors are marvelous physical comedians, and much of “22 Jump Street” turns on Laurel-and Hardy-like juxtapositions of Hill’s short, stocky inertia against Tatum’s chiseled, gravity-defying grace. Tatum has been too good too many times now to still be deemed a revelation, but he seems especially boisterous and joyful here, like a mischievous first grader trapped in a linebacker’s body, or perhaps a very deft comic actor who only belatedly came into a full sense of just how funny he can be. Whatever becomes of the “Jump Street” franchise from here, let no man put this acting partnership asunder.
A raft of unbilled special guest stars add to the generally merry vibe (be sure to stay all the way through the end credits). Consistent with the previous pic, craft contributions are uniformly solid, particularly d.p. Barry Peterson’s widescreen lensing, which emulates the look of the very high-end action spectacles pic lovingly mocks.
Film Review: ‘22 Jump Street’
Reviewed at AMC Empire, New York, June 2, 2014. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 111 MIN.
Production: A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures presentation in association with LStar Capital and MRC of an Original Film/Cannell Studios production in association with Storyville/75 Year Plan Prods. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum. Executive producers, Stephen J. Cannell, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Tania Landau, Brian Bell, Reid Carolin, Ben Waisbern. Co-producer, Will Allegra.
Crew: Directed by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller. Screenplay, Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman; story, Bacall, Jonah Hill, based on the television series “21 Jump Street” created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell. Camera (color, Alexa HD widescreen), Barry Peterson; editors, David Rennie, Keith Brachmanm; music, Mark Mothersbaugh; music supervisor, Kier Lehman; production designer, Steve Saklad; art director, Scott Plauche; set decorator, Tracey Doyle; set designers, Brian Waits, Nicole Reed Lefevre; costume designer, Leesa Evans; sound (Datasat/Dolby Digital/SDDS), David Wyman; supervising sound editor, Geoffrey G. Rubay; re-recording mixers, Michael Semanick, Chris Carpenter; visual effects supervisor, Edwin Rivera; visual effects producer, Christian Hejnal; visual effects, Pixel Magic, Rodeo FX, Shade, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Spin VFX, Wildfire Studios NOLA, Colorworks, Capital T; stunt coordinator, Stephen Pope; assistant director, Michael J. Moore; second unit director, George Aguilar; second unit camera, Lukasz Jogalla; casting, Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera.
With: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Ice Cube, Keith Lucas, Kenny Lucas, Nick Offerman, Jimmy Tatro, Caroline Aaron, Craig Roberts, Marc Evan Jackson.
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22 Jump Street is a 2014 American actioncomedy film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, written by Jonah Hill, Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman and produced by and starring Hill and Channing Tatum. It is the sequel to the 2012 film 21 Jump Street, based on the television series of the same name. The film was released on June 13, 2014, by Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film received positive reviews and earned over $331 million at the box office.
A crossover with Men in Black, MIB 23, is in development, with Lord and Miller acting as producers, and James Bobin acting as the director. The crossover will replace a 23 Jump Street film.
Two years following their success in the 21 Jump Street program, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back on the streets chasing narcotics. However, after failing in the pursuit of a group of drug dealers led by Ghost (Peter Stormare), Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) puts the duo back on the program to work for Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) – now located across the street at 22 Jump Street. Their assignment is to go undercover as college students and locate the supplier of a drug known as "WHY-PHY" (Work Hard? Yes, Play Hard? Yes) which killed a student photographed buying it on campus from a dealer.
At college, Jenko quickly makes friends with a pair of jocks named Zook (Wyatt Russell) and Rooster (Jimmy Tatro), the latter being a prime suspect of the investigation. Jenko starts attending parties with the jocks who do not take as kindly to Schmidt. Meanwhile, Schmidt gets the attention of an art student, Maya (Amber Stevens), by feigning an interest in slam poetry. The two sleep together, to the disapproval of Maya's roommate Mercedes (Jillian Bell), and Schmidt later finds that Maya is the daughter of Captain Dickson, whom Schmidt bragged to about "getting laid", much to Dickson's fury. Despite sleeping together, Maya tells Schmidt not to take it seriously, and he starts to feel left out as Jenko bonds more and more with Zook who encourages him to join the football team.
When Schmidt and Jenko are unable to identify the dealer, they visit Mr. Walters (Rob Riggle) and Eric (Dave Franco) in jail for advice. After confessing the two are having regular intercourse, Walters points out a unique tattoo on the arm of the dealer in the photograph. Whilst hanging out with Zook and Rooster, Jenko notices that Rooster does not have the tattoo but sees it on Zook's arm. Schmidt and Jenko are invited to join the fraternity led by the jocks but Schmidt refuses, furthering the tension between the two as Jenko passes their requirements. They later realize that Zook is not the dealer but rather another customer. Soon afterwards, they find Ghost and his men on campus, but Ghost again evades them. Jenko reveals to Schmidt that he has been offered a football scholarship with Zook and is uncertain about his future as a police officer. Afterwards, Schmidt reveals his true identity and moves out of the dorm, angering Maya.
Spring break arrives and Schmidt goes after Ghost. He is joined by Jenko, so the two can have one final mission together. The pair head to the beach where Ghost is likely to be dealing WHY-PHY. Inside a bar, they find Mercedes, who is Ghost's daughter, giving instructions to other dealers. The pair, backed up by Dickson and the rest of Jump Street, ambush the meeting. Ghost flees, while Mercedes is knocked out by Schmidt. While pursuing Ghost, Jenko is then shot in the shoulder. Ghost attempts to escape in a helicopter; Schmidt and Jenko manage to jump across to it, but they fall into the sea due to Jenko's injured arm. However, Jenko is able to throw a grenade into the helicopter. Ghost celebrates his victory prematurely while the grenade explodes, sending the totaled remains into the sea. Jenko tells Schmidt that he still wants to be a police officer as he believes their differences help their partnership, and the two reconcile in front of a cheering crowd. Dickson approaches them claiming to have a new mission undercover at a med school.
During the credits, Jenko and Schmidt go on to a variety of undercover missions to different schools, which are portrayed as fictional sequels, an animated series, and a toy line. One mission features Detective Booker (Richard Grieco) while another sees the return of Ghost, who survived the helicopter explosion. In a post-credits scene, Walters reveals to Eric that he is late, implying he is pregnant.
On March 17, 2012, Sony Pictures announced that it was pursuing a sequel to 21 Jump Street, signing a deal that would see Jonah Hill and Michael Bacall return to write a script treatment that would be again developed by Bacall. The film was originally scheduled to be released on June 6, 2014. On May 8, 2013, it was announced that the film would be pushed back a week until June 13, 2014. In June 2013, it was announced the film would be titled 22 Jump Street. In July 2013, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller confirmed they would return to direct the film. On September 6, 2013, Amber Stevens joined the cast of the film. On September 27, 2013, Kurt Russell mentioned that his son Wyatt turned down a role for The Hunger Games sequels to star in 22 Jump Street.Principal photography began on September 28, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana, with shots in San Juan, Puerto Rico as well (acting for the shots in the movie as the spring break in "Puerto Mexico") and ended on December 15, 2013.
The end titles, featuring satirical concepts for an ongoing series of Jump Street films and merchandise, were designed by the studio Alma Mater.
See also: 22 Jump Street (Original Motion Picture Score)
The score for the film was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh and was released by La-La Land Records on a double disc album, limited to 2,000 copies, in September 2014. The second disc of the album also contains the score from the film's predecessor, 21 Jump Street, composed by Mothersbaugh as well.
22 Jump Street grossed $191.7 million in North America and $139.4 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $331.3 million, against a budget of $84.5 million. It outgrossed the first Jump Street film, which made a total of $201.6 million during its theatrical run.
22 Jump Street grossed $5.5 million at its early Thursday night showings. On its opening day it grossed $25 million, including the early Thursday showings. In North America, the film opened at number one in its first weekend, with $57.1 million. In its second weekend, the film dropped to number two, grossing an additional $27.5 million. In its third weekend, the film stayed at number two, grossing $15.8 million. In its fourth weekend, the film dropped to number three, grossing $9.8 million.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 84% based on 206 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Boasting even more of the bromantic chemistry between its stars -- and even more of the goofy, good-natured humor that made its predecessor so much fun – 22 Jump Street is the rare sequel that improves upon the original." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.
Inkoo Kang of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying "If 22 isn't as trim and tight as its predecessor, it's certainly smarter and more heartfelt. Whether this sequel is better than the original is up for debate, but the franchise has definitely grown up." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B−, saying "Hill's neurotic-motormouth act and Tatum's lovable-lunkhead shtick still shoot giddy sparks." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film three out of four stars, saying "This is the ultimate meta movie. The repetition is exactly the point." Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film two out of four stars, saying "What's the difference between 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street? Same as the difference between getting a 21 and a 22 at blackjack." Jocelyn Noveck of the Associated Press gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Hill and Tatum ... have a Laurel-and-Hardy-like implausible chemistry that keeps you laughing pretty much no matter what they're doing." Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film four out of five stars, saying "What makes it all work is the chemistry between Hill and Tatum, which in turn, of course, is a rich source of the film's humor." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film three out of four stars, saying "The peculiar sweetness of 21 Jump Street has taken a hiatus in 22 Jump Street, a brazen sequel that's both slightly disappointing and a reliable, often riotous 'laffer' in the old Variety trade-magazine parlance."Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three out of four stars, saying "22 Jump Street is damn funny, sometimes outrageously so. It laughs at its own dumb logic and invites us in on the fun." Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Like its stars, Jump Street gets extra credit for getting by on charm while sticking to the rules." Ian Buckwalter of NPR gave the film a seven out of ten, saying "What separates 22 Jump Street from sequel mediocrity is that everyone's in on the joke."
Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Denver Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Jump Street knows you know about the predictability and cheapness of sequels and rip-offs – and in this case, to avoid the downfalls of other summer comedy sagas, embracing that problem might have been the best move for this absurd, unique franchise." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, saying "This sequel's spoof of its predecessor's riff on the original 1980s-era buddy-cop TV show coalesces into a raucous, raunchy, irreverent, imperfect riot." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "Lord and Miller are on a roll, and there may be no better moviemakers at playing to our modern need for irony – at giving us the entertainment we crave while acknowledging our distrust of it." Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald gave the film three out of four stars, saying "There's something going on at the edges of the frame in practically every scene of 22 Jump Street, a testament to the care and attention to detail directors Lord and Miller bring to this potentially silly material." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "At what point is sarcasm just a cheap substitute for wit? Exactly when does joking about how all sequels are just lame, repetitive cash-grabs start to suggest that maybe yours is, too? Actually, in this case, about 40 minutes in." Bill Zwecker of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Though I enjoyed enormously this latest offering in the rebooted Jump franchise, it's the effortless, unexpected bromance/partnership between the two unlikely undercover cops is what makes this franchise work."
James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "There are times when 22 Jump Street is borderline brilliant. Unfortunately, those instances are outnumbered by segments that don't work for one reason or another." Jaime N. Christley of Slant Magazine gave the film two out of four stars, saying "As funny and batshit insane as the movie often is, the fact that 22 Jump Street knows it's a tiresome sequel doesn't save it from being a tiresome sequel, even as Lord and Miller struggle to conceal the bitter pill of convention in the sweet tapioca pudding of wall-to-wall jokes." Scott Tobias of The Dissolve gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "22 Jump Street squeezes every last drop of comic inspiration it can get from Tatum and Hill, as well as the very notion of a sequel to such a superfluous enterprise." Steve Persall of the Tampa Bay Times gave the film a B, saying "22 Jump Street is a mixed bag of clever spoofery and miscalculated outrageousness. The unveiled homoeroticism of practically all interaction between Jenko and Schmidt is amusing to the point when it isn't." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post gave the film three out of five stars, saying "This is a sequel that wears its well-worn formula, mocking inside jokes and gleeful taste for overkill proudly, flying the high-lowbrow flag for audiences that like their comedy just smart enough to be not-too-dumb." Scott Foundas of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "22 Jump Street hits far more often than it misses, and even when it misses by a mile, the effort is so delightfully zany that it's hard not to give Lord and Miller an 'A' for effort."
Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film three out of four stars, saying "If it seemed Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill couldn't possibly exceed their over-the-top buddy cop antics of 21 Jump Street, you lost that bet." Tom Long of The Detroit News gave the film a B-, saying "There's no real reason 22 Jump Street should work. Yet it does." Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the film three out of four stars, saying "A self-aware sequel has to hop over hurdles to keep from swallowing its own tail, but the sharp writing and tag-team antics lift 22 Jump Street to a high level." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film three out of four stars, saying "22 Jump Street is exactly what comedy is today. It's coarse, free-flowing and playful." In 2016, James Charisma of Playboy ranked the film #13 on a list of 15 Sequels That Are Way Better Than The Originals.
22 Jump Street was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 18, 2014.
Sequel and spin-offs
On September 10, 2014, 23 Jump Street was confirmed. Channing Tatum had yet to sign on to the project, stating, "I don't know if that joke works three times, so we'll see." On August 7, 2015, it was revealed that Lord and Miller would not direct the film, but instead write and produce. A first draft of the film's script has been completed. On December 10, 2014, it was revealed that Sony was planning a crossover between Men in Black and Jump Street. The news was leaked after Sony's system was hacked and then confirmed by the directors of the films, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, during an interview about it.James Bobin was announced as the director in March 2016. The title of the crossover was later revealed as MIB 23, and it was revealed that the crossover would replace a 23 Jump Street film.
In early 2015, a female-driven 21 Jump Street film was rumored to also be in the works. In December 2016, Rodney Rothman was confirmed to make his directorial debut on the film.
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