“Do the same thing as last time. Everyone’s happy.”
Plot: What’s it about?
There’s an old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That can certainly be applied to 22 Jump Street, the “even than better than the original” 2012 movie. I’ve said before what I think of films adapted from older television shows, but with the Jump Street films – it doesn’t seem to apply. I remember seeing the first one a couple of years ago and laughing hard. With the second one, I wasn’t sure what would happen. Often times it’s hard to re-create the magic and capture lighting in a bottle. Without giving anything away, I can say that they did it with this. The original wasn’t exactly a fluke, it made nearly $200 million worldwide so a sequel was inevitable. The second was reviewed to nearly as high (or higher) critical praise and made far more money than the original. Does that mean we’ll see 23 Jump Street (SPOILER: They go to medical school!) in the near future? It’s hard to say, but in an industry devoted to making money, it would seem foolish to stop making films that make it. At any rate, if you’ve seen the first then this shouldn’t challenge you mentally in regard to plot – it’s the same.
After busting the high school drug ring and sending Eric (Dave Franco) and Mr. Walters (Ron Riggle) to the slammer, Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are riding high. The Jump Street office has gotten a face lift and Capt. Dickson (Ice Cube) is living large. However there’s a new drug at a local university called WHYPHY (Work Hard? Yes. Play Hard? Yes.) that’s all the rage and Jenko and Schmidt are once again the men for the mission. Once again donning their alter egos, they go back to college and become ingratiated in the lifestyle. They’re not exactly met with open arms, though. Jenko makes friends with the football team and fraternity guys, while Schmidt explores his thespian in the art drama arena. Schmidt also becomes involved with Maya (Amber Stevens) as well as taking verbal abuse from her roommate, Mercedes (Jillian Bell). And, of course, it’s not as easy as it would seem, because they’ve got The Ghost (Peter Stomare) after them as well as trying to find out who the supplier is. Will Jenko and Schmidt be able to survive college?
There aren’t many movies in which I’ve laughed so hard that I literally had to stop the movie to catch my breath. I will say, though, that this is one of them. The standout performance is, far and away, Jillian Bell. Her deadpan delivery of insults to Jonah Hill’s character had me in stitches. Of course both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are in top form too. Neither one can be accused of taking themselves too seriously and that’s part of the allure of these films – they’re just out there having fun (and it shows)! Now it’s true that your “bro” and “dude” meters will go off the charts, it’s that kind of humor that makes this film work. And yes, it’s essentially the same film as the first one. Hey, it worked for the Hangover movies – why not this? Most all of the cast is back for this one and there are several new faces (see below for the featurette on them). 22 Jump Street might not challenge you intellectually, but if you’re looking to be entertained (albeit in a very raunchy manner) then I really can’t think of a better way to spend 104 minutes. Highly recommended.
Video: How’s it look?
I noted in my review of 21 Jump Street that there wasn’t really a reason these movies needed to be released in 4K. But movies are all about making money and if a studio can give two very popular films a new transfer, a few new supplements and a new audio track – people will buy. That said, the 2.40:1 HEVC 4K image is everything I thought it would be. I’m hard-pressed to find much, if anything, to complain about (not that I’m trying to complain). It seems that everything that’s new and on the Blu-ray format looks so damn good – it’s hard to pick things apart! The film has a very nice warm palette showcasing a variety of colors. Flesh tones look warm and natural, detail is amazing (we can see the “crows feet” that Tatum and Hill supposedly have) and black levels and contrast work well off one another. I know I sound like a broken record, but this one is hard to beat.
Audio: How’s it sound?
22 Jump Street is more of a action/comedy and thus, does utilize the newly-included Dolby Atmos soundtrack a bit more than its predecessor. While this won’t hold a candle to some of the action/sci-fi films out there, I was surprised at how active some of these scenes really were. There are more than a few scenes of a party (be it in a fraternity house or on a beach). As we might expect, vocals are rich and pure, surrounds are constantly active and the LFE once again get a pretty nice workout. The action/comedy genre makes full use of the dynamic audio throughout and this is actually a pretty decent-sounding film.
Supplements: What are the extras?
We get a new slew of supplements on the 4K disc with the original supplements included on the Blu-ray (also in the set).
Disc One (4K)
- Big Time Action – We look at the sequel with some behind the scenes footage and a few talking heads telling us how this will be bigger and better than the first. And it is.
- Constructing Jump Street – A look at some of the production design for the film, college life and so forth.
- How to Fight Funny – Remember the Jillian Bell/Jonah Hill fight scene? How about Channing Tatum using a drunk spring breaker as a weapon. This and more!
- Ice Cubed – Take a look at Ice Cube’s literal ice cube office and how it was made.
- Inside Whyphy – We get a look at the fictitious drug used in the film. Work hard, yes? Play hard, yes!
- Johnny Pemberton’s Nonsensical Tour – Actor Johnny Pemberton (who played Delroy in the movie) gives an inside look at the set of 22 Jump Street – complete with facts about the production that simply aren’t true.
- Jump Street Spring Break – A look at the film’s third act and all that was involved in the shoot.
- Ssshhhh: The Deleted Scene Library – Yes, believe it or not, more deleted scenes.
- Dick Graze Music Video – Tatum and co-star Jillian Bell do a one-of-a-kind video. Check it out.
- Theatrical Trailers
Disc Two (Blu-ray)
- Audio Commentary – The same foursome from the first film’s commentary track is back and, yes, they’re still a giggly bunch of fools. Like the track on the first film, there’s not a lot of technical information, just them laughing as to what was going on screen. I did find it interesting that this track was recorded the day after the film’s premiere (June 14, 2014). It might not warrant multiple listens (then again, what commentary track does) but it’s a good listen one time.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- The Perfect Couple of Directors – Nothing mind-blowing here, just a brief interview with the directors and their success on the first film that led to this. They seem to be having a good time and who can blame them?
- Line-O-Rama – Only one, and I usually don’t go for these “Line-O-Rama’s” but it was Mercedes (Jillian Bell) on Schmidt’s age, so I had to watch. I laughed. Hard.
- Everything is Better in College – It’s more than a comparison between the first movie and the second, but rather the comparison between high school and college. The directors offer their own insight into the culture as well as some of their own “personal” affections thrown in for good measure.
- Janning and Chonah – Basically a look at the on-screen chemistry between the two leads. But then again, we already knew that.
- New Recruits – Focusing on the new faces in the movie and, of course, the scene stealer of them all – Jillian Bell.
- The Perfect Line – You’d be crazy to think that everything in the final cut was in the script, so we see some of the improvisations throughout.
- Don’t Cut Yet – The oft-used multi angle feature might come into play here. In essence, it’s an extended scene with multiple angles.
- Joke-A-Palooza – A montage of cut sequences from the film. I guess this could be considered a gag reel?
- Line-O-Rama – Four more not found on the DVD.
- The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street – Nearly as funny as the film itself, this whittles down the movie into purely dramatic scenes and anything that could be construed as a joke has been taken out. It’s amazing how funny it still is!
- Look & McQuaid Scout Reel – The “completed” version of the recruiting tape from Zook and McQuaid.
- Jenko Split – If you remember the Jean-Claude Van Damme split video, this is 22 Jump Street’s take on it.
The Bottom Line
As much as I liked 21 Jump Street, I have to say that I enjoyed 22 Jump Street a little more. It’s most likely the inclusion of Jillian Bell, who’s deadpan performance had me laughing so hard I had to pause the movie every time she was on. That and I only spent 4 years in high school and 7 in college – so I can relate to college life a bit more. An improved transfer, new Atmos mix and another disc of supplements doesn’t hurt either.