22 Jump Street from Thy Critic Man

The superhero from Thy Critic Man handed me his latest film review to feature as part of my guest write-up page and he has the honour of being the first to hopefully be of many bloggers to send me their reviews/musings/essays/actor bios/rants etc.

The film being 22 Jump Street which I have had the pleasure of seeing twice and believe to be better than the 2012 first offering. His review features here and on my guest page. I too agree with his comments and more Ice Cube is a great thing.

Find more of his excellent writing at his blog – thy critic man

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“Skipping classes!  Kicking Asses!  (No, I did not steal my tagline from the poster).”

FEATURING: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube, Amber Dawn Stevens, Wyatt Russell, Jillian Bell, Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle, Marc Evan Jackson & The Lucas Brothers

DIRECTING VISION: Phil Lord & Christopher Miller

SCREENWRITER: Michael Bacall, Rodney Rothman & Oren Uziel

The success or failure of a romantic flick is dependent on how strong and believable the chemistry between the two leads are. Chemistry is the key word here!  Any director or studio with the right amount of money can handpick recent Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett and toss them in a romantic movie together! The expectations are sure to be sky-high! This idea sounds stellar on paper right? The truth is that the winning formula may not be found in sheer acting ability. These two souls must give the impression that they were meant for one another and that is the only surefire way to guarantee success!  It goes without saying that solid acting and a commendable screenplay is also required!  Why in the world am I rambling on about romance flicks in a review of 22 Jump Street?

This is because buddy cop or bromance flicks follow identical requirements! Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon? Chemistry! Paul Rudd and Jason Segel in I Love You, Man? Chemistry! Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber? Chemistry!  Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street?  Chemistry!  Channing Tatum would never have been a name that could excite me before I witnessed what he was capable of with Jonah Hill at his side! When you think of the funniest actors in Hollywood…he fails to make that list. Hell, if you name fifty of the top current males in Hollywood based on talent alone….chances are that he would fall short. Tatum’s performance in 21 Jump Street expressed both signs of general improvement and precise comic timing through his delivery of dialogue!  The humorous yet very emotional friendship between undercover police officer protagonists Morton Schmidt (Hill) and Greg Jenko (Tatum) is perhaps the most compelling aspect of 22 Jump Street! If someone told me that they were friends from birth…I would not be the slightest bit surprised.  They are a pairing who bounce off one another perfectly and share a wild enthusiastic presence onscreen!

What is the mission this time? A new drug is on the loose and it is up to the trusty tag team who saved the day on 21 Jump Street to go undercover in COLLEGE!  Undercover work whilst having a ton of fun with drugs, girls and sports!  You know the drill by now folks!  Remember how The Hangover II unsuccessfully reused the same formula from the original? Okay, I will take that back considering how much richer it made everyone involved. The Hangover II was extremely successful in the box office. However, critics were far less than impressed and a fair bit of folks who enjoyed the first (myself included) left the theater disappointed! Phil Lord & Christopher Miller do the exact same thing with this sequel and the plot structure seems relatively familiar! Really?  Did the talented men responsible for directing quality films such as The Lego MovieCloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and 21 Jump Street decide, “Hey, f$%# it.  We can be lazy now!”? Fortunately, 22 Jump Street incorporates self-awareness and a distinct sense of cleverness into the familiar territory setting itself apart from the rest of the pack.  This movie ruthlessly bullies the concept of sequels and viciously attacks the fact that it even exists.  It is a walking, talking spoof with characters making direct albeit intelligently written references to what they are ribbing! Example:  Deputy Chief Hardy (Offerman) explaining, “Just do the same thing over again”, to his fellow officers!

These filmmakers are fully aware of what worked with the original and simply provide more of it for our entertainment value.  We liked Captain Dickson?  Okay, lets give them more Ice Cube! Folks did not get enough of Mr. Walters?  That is okay!  Rob Riggle will make a few dick-less cameos!  I must say that Ice Cube is as awesome as….having ice cubes in a drink on an excruciating hot day!  I know!  That one was terrible!  But the point stands….Ice Cube is flat-out hilarious in 22 Jump Street. From his exaggerated anger to his golden facial expressions, Ice Cube has proven that he can be an asset to any comedy film! Channing Tatum embraces his dumb jock role masterfully and is never afraid to poke fun at himself for the sake of a joke! Jonah Hill is Jonah Hill!  Jillian Bell earns herself recognition with her incredibly blunt delivery and the adorable Amber Dawn Stevens radiates charisma as Jonah Hill’s love interest! The Lucas Brothers are guaranteed to be acquiring film roles more frequently after their memorable appearance here!

22 Jump Street is a smart movie wrapped up and delivered in a very big and purposefully “dumb” package. The plot and happenings in this movie are heavily cartoony instead of plausible and the shameless silliness may be considered overboard for some folks.  With that said, the satire always remains witty. Additionally, noticeable changes can be found in the script despite events playing out in near identical fashion to the original.  You may think something is going one way only for the screenplay to cleverly switch it up when you least expect it!  This film hardly feels repetitive and comes fully capable of providing consistent laughter to those who appreciate the humour!  It is also worth noting that this film has the absolute best closing credits scene in film-making history! I refuse to argue this point!

Superpower Film Scale: 4.5/5

1: Villainous Waste

2: Careless Bystander

3: Hero unaware of powers

4: On the verge of greatness

5: Heroic film

Standout acting heroes: Channing Tatum (Shocker eh?) & Ice Cube

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2 thoughts on “22 Jump Street from Thy Critic Man

  1. I’m hopeful I’ll see this this weekend. Just getting back into the flow of things from off vacation so I am behind! Enjoyed the 1st, and it appears the second is in the same vein. Great review.

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