When “21 Jump Street,” a reboot of a popular television show from the 80s, hit theaters just two years ago, no one was really expecting it to make much of an impact, certainly nothing along the lines of over $200 million worldwide. However, the hysterical comedy did just that, so here we go for round two with “22 Jump Street.” The sequel finds Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) continuing their duties as undercover cops, trying to take down some major drug dealers. After that case goes south, their boss, Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), gives them a “new” assignment: posing as students to infiltrate a college in order to track down the source of a dangerous drug known as “whyphy.” Obviously they already have experience with this sort of case, but this time, it ends up being Jenko having all the fun, playing football and hanging out with his new best friend Zook (Wyatt Russell), while Schmidt is left behind or looked upon as a tagalong. The two do their best not to let any of this interfere with the job at hand, but, of course, the inevitable hijinks ensue.
“21 Jump Street” had been one of those films that I dreaded as I sat in the screening room waiting for it to begin (Tatum’s presence used to spell disaster for any film), but that feeling had quickly evaporated as the jokes were poured on, with most of them hitting very well. A sequel would certainly have a hard time keeping up that level of energy and comedy, but it’s a pleasure to find that “22 Jump Street” delivers on both for the most part. The jokes still come at you a mile a minute, with most of them hitting the mark, and while it may not be quite as funny as its predecessor, it still makes for a rather delightful experience. In fact, the only big problem it has is that, much like the first film, it’s too long for the story being told.
There are a few lulls to be found throughout its nearly two-hour runtime, but the ratio of laughs you get really helps one overlook this problem, particularly when you get to the end of the picture where you are rewarded with a hilarious glimpse at about 20 potential sequels to follow this one. All in all, this is a worthy follow up to a film that had surprised a multitude of moviegoers and critics. In a sense, it’s even more surprising that the sequel worked this well given that the filmmakers are using almost the exact same premise (a fact that is made fun of several times in the film), but when you’re laughing this much, it’s really easy not to care. Good comedies are hard to come across these days, making “22 Jump Street” a welcome addition to this franchise that leaves one with anticipation for the inevitable sequel to follow.
“22 Jump Street” comes to Blu-ray in a 2.40: 1, 1080p High Definition transfer of outstanding quality. The picture is perfectly sharp and clear throughout, without a trace of fuzziness to be found. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is also very high quality, with all elements of the soundtrack from music to dialogue presented at excellent levels. Overall, the film has been given fantastic treatment that could hardly be improved upon.
Commentary with Directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller and Stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum
22 Deleted and Extended Scenes
Featurettes: The Perfect Couple of Directors, Everything is Better in College, Janning and Chonah, New Recruits, The Perfect Line, and Don’t Cut Yet
The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street
Extended Zook & McQuaid Football Video
Jenko Split Video
Starting with the commentary, it’s mainly the directors and stars just goofing around, which is sure to disappoint anyone actually looking to learn anything about the film. There are about 40 minutes of amusing deleted and extended scenes included which are worth taking a look at, but given that the length of the film was its main problem, it’s easy to see why they would be left out. Finally, there are about 50 minutes of featurettes that are sadly rather superficial, not divulging very much about the making of the film. Unfortunately, this just ends up being another instance where it may look like there are a lot of extras, but really there’s not very much that’s worth checking out.
While “22 Jump Street” may not be quite as funny as its predecessor, it still manages to deliver a multitude of laughs over its stretched runtime, all while using pretty much the same premise, just with a different location and a little role reversal. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have shown once again that they have excellent chemistry, while the latter continues to show that perhaps comedy has been where he belongs all along. Their ability to improvise and bounce off of each other, coupled with a hilarious screenplay, makes this a sequel worth delving into despite that nagging feeling that you’ve seen it all before.