- on Friday, 13 June 2014 14:34
- by Frank Wilkins
Does Hollywood even recognize and appreciate the stinging jabs we movie-going public take at the industry for its absurd need to build a franchise out of any movie that makes a buck. Does it laugh at its own doings when a film’s title is longer to the right of the colon than to the left?
If 22 Jump Street is any indicator, then the answer is yes, they’re not only aware of the joke, but are willing to poke at themselves and make a movie sequel about the ridiculousness of making movie sequels.
21 Jump Street caught us off guard a couple years ago with its gut-busting revisit to the classic Stephen J. Cannell TV series’ premise of over-aged but youthful-looking cops going undercover into a high school to bust up a drug ring.
In that film, actors Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum riffed on action comedies while the budding relationship between their two cops took center stage. In the revisit, the filmmakers take that relationship to the next level by exploring what it takes to make a relationship last. Get it? Sequels are like relationships; you can attempt to live on the past, but it’s never going to be the same. You’ve got to re-invent yourself. The film’s running gag is about how movie sequels get too over-the-top and therefore usually suck. So, what does 22 Jump Street do? It goes over the top with everything and even ends with a series of fake movie posters that advertise the dozens of coming sequels such as a futuristic sci-fi version called 2121 Jump Street.
Having made their way through high school (the second time) by successfully busting up a drug ring, thirty-somethings Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are again assigned to infiltrate a school, but this time they go undercover at a local college. Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) reminds the partners that “back then nobody gave more than a casual yawn to the announcement of the Jump Street reboot, but you got lucky. So, the department has invested a lot of money to make sure the Jump Street program keeps going.”
It’s this kind of self-aware humor that both makes the film by laughing at itself before we get a chance to, and nearly breaks it by violating the comedy credo that sarcasm is best when delivered in small doses. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) ride a fine line but stay just this side of too much while Hill and Tatum display a once-in-a-career chemistry… again.
Once embedded on the college campus, Jenko joins the football team and begins a bro-mance with a young, fit quarterback and fraternity brother named Zook (Wyatt Russell), while clingy Schmidt finds his friends in the hippy-dippy art society. Being the jealous type, Schmidt is hurt by the thought of having to share his partner with Zook, so an hilarious session with the school’s couples counselor becomes another recurring gag.
Ice Cube reprises his role as Captain Dickson, the constantly-screaming head of the Jump Street undercover cops unit who, staying with the film’s themes, takes his “angry black captain” into parody territory by top-notching all other angry black cops from all other buddy cop movies. Yes, this is the guy who wrote the protest song Fuck tha Police back in 1988, so there’s a bit of humorous irony there, but the biggest lift comes from his constant references to the excessiveness of movie sequels. One joke in which he complains about the police department giving him an $800 pair of sneakers even though his feet are never seen behind his desk goes over particularly well.
While the non-stop meta-jokes and wanton excessiveness are refreshing gags and frankly quite brilliant, especially in today’s world of out-of-control movie franchising, the whole thing begins to wear a bit thin about halfway through. Also, a few dead sequences are carried on a bit too long as Miller and Long seem shortsighted on exactly how long to carry on with a joke. But all-in-all 22 Jump Street has a lot of fun with itself and so do we.
MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence.
Runtime: 112 mins
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Writer: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube
Genre: Comedy | Action
Tagline: They're not 21 anymore
Memorable Movie Quote: "Yo Sleepy, wus up homie!, everyone saying that Sleepy he like the Mexican wolverine"
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Official Site: http://www.22jumpstreetmovie.com/site/
Release Date: June 13, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: November 18, 2014
Synopsis: After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college..
Available on Blu-ray - November 18, 2014
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French (Canada): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A
22 Jump Street delivers on Blu-Ray, with a remarkably clear and vibrant 1080p transfer that beautifully delineates minute details while utilizing a broad and pleasing color palette. Scenes on the football field and on the beachfront are especially bursting with bright colors, but the transfer remains strong even during the darker, softer night sequences. Absolutely no flaws to report on this presentation. Meanwhile, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is almost always sturdy, with the booming soundtrack proving its most valuable asset. Despite that, dialogue is typically crisp with a couple of minor offenses, and there are only a few instances where the audio track feels like it’s pulling its punches a little bit.
- Of course, Lord, Miller, Hill and Tatum’s audio commentary track is a raucous affair, with plenty of joking around packaged with the requisite insights into the production. Fans will love the infectious energy that all four participants bring.
With over two hours of hilarious content, the special features loaded on the blu-ray definitely do not disappoint. In terms of extras, the 22 Jump Street Blu-Ray is packing some serious heat. In addition to a DVD and UV digital copy of the film, you get non-stop deleted & extended scenes that are entirely too funny not to be seen and appreciated. There’s a look at the co-directors, the writing of the script, and a deleted scene that shows just how hard it was for everyone to not crack up. The real find among all the extras, though, is “The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street,” in which Lord and Miller remove every funny bit of the movie to do a serious cut “for international audiences.” It’s just as side-splitting as the actual movie in its own way – watch immediately after the film for best results. This loaded blu-ray is seriously worth picking up.
- Deleted & Extended Scenes (60 min)
- The Perfect Couple of Directors (9:36)
- Everything Is Better in College (7:49)
- Janning and Chonah (7:37)
- New Recruits (9:45)
- The Perfect Line (7:09)
- Don’t Cut Yet (8:36)
- Joke-A-Palooza (5:59)
- Line-O-Ramas (15:19)
- The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street (9:59)
- Zook & McQuaid Scout Reel (2:17)
- Jenko Split (0:45)