Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprise their roles as Schmidt and Jenko in 22 Jump Street.

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprise their roles as Schmidt and Jenko in 22 Jump Street.

Reel Reviews: Sequel beats a dead joke

Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and the gang return for 22 Jump Street

  • Jun. 27, 2014 10:00 a.m.

Bumbling cops Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are going to college, under the guise of students, once again to bring down drug dealers.

We say, “It’s more of the same, to the point of self-referential exploitation.”

TAYLOR: The gang is back, all except the characters who died in 21 Jump Street. So you can expect to see Rob Riggle as the jailed drug dealing teacher from the previous film, Dave Franco as his cell mate, Ice Cube as the angry captain, and even an old original, Richard Grieco in a small cameo. You can also expect to see the same movie, with the same plot, the same investigation, even the same outcome.

In fact, even from the trailer, audiences are told, via the chief of police berating his two goofiest officers: “Nobody expected you two to succeed the first time out, but you got lucky. So now we’re throwing twice as much money into the program with the bosses expecting twice the payout.” (I’m paraphrasing.) This self-referential joke continues on, way too long, into the movie. Captain Dickson, half way through the film, says: “We’ve spent too much money already. I’m wearing $800 shoes, you can’t even see them! Stop destroying things, we can’t afford it.”

After that, during the chase scene where Jenko and Schmidt are trying to escape the baddies in a football helmet go-cart, they try to avoid crashing into things, but end up driving through art exhibits and the like. The joke was funny once, but as a running gag it falls a little flat. Thus, what we have here is a film that was better the first time.

HOWE: I would have to say about 25 per cent of this was as funny as the first installment. I didn’t care for the rest of it. The captain being so angry smashing up the place was just so immature and childlike that it spoiled the film for me. Yes, make him an angry person if that is what the story asks for, but to make him act as a spoiled brat – terrible. Other than that, the film just seemed to plod along nicely, throwing the odd gag in here or there.

The brotherly love triangle between Jenko, Schmidt and Zook (Wyatt Russell) was a nice touch. It made me smile on more than one occasion how it went from togetherness, to splitting up, to hurting, and so on.

TAYLOR: We saw the film with a respectable number of teenage butts in seats, yet, despite not having my laugh-o-metre with me, I’m pretty sure there was a lot more laughter during 21 Jump Street. I think the film will make its money back and then some, but I don’t think there will be 23 Jump Street because Jonah Hill’s talents deserve better than this and Channing Tatum, well… I just don’t know about Tatum. His skills as an actor remain to be seen.

– Taylor gives 22 Jump Street 2.5 Whyphy doses out of 5.

Howe gives it 2.5 goalposts out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

– Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column runs in The Morning Star Fridays and Sundays.