Movies: 22 Jump Street

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube
Directed By: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Written By: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman (screenplay), story by Michael Bacall & Jonah Hill
Columbia/MGM, 2014
R; 112 mins
4 stars (out of 5)


Once again, expectation makes all the difference. I really enjoyed 21 Jump Street when we watched it one night at home long after the cinema release, mainly because I had zero expectations for it. I'd never seen the television show, though I'd had friends who'd loved it, so I went in with a working understanding of what it was about. But other than that . . . Nothing. Which led to me laughing like mad when I finally saw the movie.

But a sequel necessarily carries expectations. Even when I told myself not to hope for too much, I couldn't help expecting a certain level of funny. And I feel 22 Jump Street met that level of expectation, but did not exceed it.

Oh, I laughed. At some points I was laughing when the people around me weren't. (They didn't seem to get the fourth wall jokes about budgets and Plainview Red Herrings.) And what saves 22 Jump Street is that it moves along quickly. There are no lulls. So while I was way ahead of the main characters in terms of their investigation, I was still pulled along by the force of plot momentum, with eddies of funny swirling through the current. Ice Cube did an especially good job, and Tatum and Hill were at par. Though I do kind of wish we could not lean so much on "ha-ha, it's like they're gay" as a punchline.

Bonus points to the end credit sequence in which Seth Rogan is substituted for Jonah Hill.

In all, an enjoyable romp that was exactly what I expected it to be.

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