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Laramie Movie Scope:
22 Jump Street

A comedy sequel that makes fun of comedies, and sequels

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 21, 2014 -- Usually, in a review like this, I would start by comparing this sequel to the original, but I haven't seen the original. I have, however, seen a lot of movies like this one. It reminded me a bit of the old “Pink Panther” films in which you have a pair of incompetent cops comically bumbling their way through an investigation until they stumble upon the solution to the mystery. They solve the crime and close the case despite themselves, just like Inspector Closeau.

In the original film, “21 Jump Street,” based on a successful 1987 TV series, two undercover cops, Schmidt (played by Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) pose as high school students to track down drug dealers. In this film the same two cops pose as college students to find a drug dealer. This film not only makes fun of such action movies as “Bad Boys,” but it even makes fun of sequels. Over the credits, there are a series of funny phoney trailers of upcoming Jump Street movies, including “34 Jump Street.”

In addition to the usual classroom and fraternity humor, dating back to “Animal House,” there is a romance between Schmidt and an art student, Maya (Amber Stevens of “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”). This seems a bit out of place in a silly comedy, until it is revealed there is a connection between Maya and someone else in the police department. This revelation sparks more comedic situations.

Another unusual character in the movie is Maya's roommate, Mercedes (Jillian Bell of “Bridesmaids”). In the early part of the film, Mercedes is a minor character who is ignored, even when she makes devastating sarcastic remarks. Later in the film Mercedes blossoms into a major comedic character who is at the center of some of the film's funniest scenes, including a fist fight and a gun fight. There are a number of movie in-jokes in this film, and Jillian Bell delivers one of the best jokes of this kind during a gun fight. Veteran actor Ice Cube reprises his role as Captain Dickson, with a permanent, clichéd scowl.

While this film is dominated by vulgar, slapstick humor, it is not exactly brain dead. There is a certain self-aware, self-mocking quality to it. It also helps that the characters, while not the sharpest tools in the shed, are basically good guys trying to do the right thing. This is a funny, enjoyable film. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2014 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)