’22 Jump Street’ wants you to known it’s exactly like last time
I thoroughly enjoyed “21 Jump Street.” Its zany antics, constant self-referential jokes and pleasant chemistry between its leads combine to make … Wait. I just watched “22 Jump Street,” its purposely nearly identical sequel making a joke about the larger issue of sequels never being as good as the first yet still wanting to cash in on its predecessor’s popularity, meritoriously or not?
In that case … Welcome to “22 Jump Street,” in which everything is just like it was in 2012’s “21 Jump Street,” the spastic eccentric reboot of the 1980s TV series of the same name. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as officers Schmidt and Jenko, respectively, to Metropolitan City, this go-around attending the local college to put an end to the rise of a popular synthetic drug. The undercover cops’ goal: infiltrate the dealers, find the supplier.
If this is sounding familiar, that’s because it is. It’s the exact premise of its predecessor. And you know what? I’m OK with that because that’s the entire joke. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller goes all in with its idea that if you’re going to make a sequel to a movie no one really expected to succeed, you might as well acknowledge it with as much self-reflexive shamelessness as you can must. You have to imagine, too, that recycling the same plot, characters and jokes has to make the job easier, right?
Four “It’s Spring Break!” stars out of five.