“Hey you – yeah you: You better have watched all of The Wolf of Wall Street and Magic Mike before you tell me anything!” Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) make an emphatic point – both literally and figuratively – in a scene from from co-directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller’s follow-up to their 2012 hit, 2014’s 22 JUMP STREET. Credit: Michael Gibson © 2013 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
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Unfortunately for Schmidt and Jenko, the case ends with them getting re-assigned by Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) to their old stomping grounds at Jump Street – which has moved across the street – under the direction of their old boss, the still hard-nosed Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). And along with informing them about Jump Street’s new address, Dickson informs our would-be heroic duo about their new assignment: Going to MetroCity College to pose as students stop the spread of a new drug nicknamed “WhyPhy.”
After meeting their new hallmates the Yang Twins (the Lucas Brothers) and Mercedes (Jillian Bell), the roommate of the deceased student that kicked their case off, Schmidt and Jenko quickly realize they are going in different directions. While Schmidt is hitting it off with Mercedes’ new roommate Maya (Amber Stevens) and the rest of the art crowd, Jenko is having the time of his life hanging out with the football team and newfound buddies Rooster (Jimmy Tatro) and Zook (Wyatt Russell).
But the unique tattoo on Zook’s arm – a bazooka, hence the nickname – might just be the lead Schmidt and Jenko need to crack the case … They just have to hope they don’t blow their cover first before they can investigate and find out.
And in doing so, it lays claim to the reigning title as the funniest movie of 2014 thus far.
This is evident in the chemistry between Hill and Tatum, who have a great, dynamic interplay that showcases modern comedic timing to a “t.” Be it the delivery of an obvious joke or a more subtle one about their relationship, Hill and Tatum make the most of every scene hitting you with silly jokes, smart jokes, physical humor and the like throughout the film. Whether they are making the joke or are the butt of it, they are fully committed which in turn makes watching 22 Jump Street a fantastically fulfilling experience.
Hill and Tatum are not alone, however, in their comedic prowess as 22 Jump Street is also the rare film that gives nearly every member of the cast a chance to shine, leading to Cube, the Lucas Brothers and Jillian Bell nearly stealing the movie right from under them. Whereas the Lucas brothers showcase the big laughs that can come from being mellow, Bell (a former writer for Saturday Night Live) and her rapid fire joke delivery is brash, assertive and all-out relentlessly funny. (Think Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids except even more uncensored.) And in once again embracing the stereotypical character of the angry black man, Cube delivers his best performance since 2012’s original Jump Street while – whether he did it intentionally or doesn’t even realize it – parodying his character in his early hit this year, Ride Along.
Making fun of everything from sequels to the college experience, 22 Jump Street never loses its sense of humor – both about everything it makes fun of (save for some unfortunately timed Tracy Morgan and Maya Angelou jokes) on screen and of itself. And that’s what not only makes 22 Jump Street the funniest movie you might see all year, but ironically one of the more original offerings to hit theaters this year.