Thursday, July 7, 2022


June 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In 22 Jump Street there are several jokes about how bad sequels are, but in the case of this sequel, few critics agree. Indeed, Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune remarks, "There’s no reason a sequel containing this many gags about how lame sequels usually are should work at all. But [co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller] turn their comic approach into a religion: the Church of Self-Referentialism." Manohla Dargis in the New York Times adds: "This kind of self-consciousness is a cornerstone of comedy, deployed by everyone from Buster Keaton to Bugs Bunny and Stephen Colbert, and can be usefully self-regarding." Want to know the plot of the movie? Well, it’s the same plot as 21 Jump Street, except that it takes place in college instead of high school. The case that police Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum set out to cover, Mick LaSalle observes in the San Francisco Chronicle is "exactly the same … a point that the movie emphasizes over and over, as an in-joke about the nature of sequels." However, Kyle Smith in the New York Post isn’t buying any of it. The sequel, he writes, "is so repetitious, so manic, so forced and so convinced it’s clever to be lame as long as you keep telling the audience you’re being lame and that its title seems like a bewildering typo." And Richard Corliss in Time magazine agrees: "Nearly two hours of rationalizing repetition, even by winking at it, can get wearying," he writes. If it all works for other critics, it’s because of the performances of Hill and Tatum, they suggest. Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times comments that none of the film’s "insanity" would work "if Tatum and Hill weren’t so disarming in their roles. Their level of comfort with the characters and each other helps 22 click."