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Shrewsbury, Massachusetts- When 21 Jump Street came out two years ago, no one was sure that it was going to be any good. Then surprise, surprise, the movie was a knockout, totally poking fun at reboots and blockbusters while still being one of the funniest movies of the year. Now Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have decided to attempt to capture lightning in a bottle twice. With 22 Jump Street, the directing duo has decided to attempt the nigh impossible: the good comedy sequel.
After making a major bust with the Jump Street division, Officers Jenko and Schmidt are enjoying their lives busting drug operations and keeping Metro City safe. Then they are given an assignment like they’ve been given before: infiltrate a drug ring at the local college and prevent a new drug called WhyPhy from spreading. Having done this in the first movie, it should be a piece of cake for Jenko and Schmidt, but things begin to take a turn for the unexpected and their abilities and friendship are put to the test.
There is no way that this could work again. The first film was a lucky shot and doing the same thing again but slightly different is a recipe for a stale, unfunny movie, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case for 22 Jump Street. The follow-up is just as funny as its predecessor, something that not a lot of comedy sequels can say. Lord and Miller overcome this by making a ton of not-so-subtle meta jokes poking fun at the idea of sequels which make for a grand old time.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back again as Jenko and Schmidt and they work just as well together as they did in the first outing. Tatum really got to flex his comedic chops in the first film and in this one he flat out sprints, flips, and bench presses them in an impressively hysterical display. Ice Cube gets a little more to do this time around as their commanding officer. There are also loads of little celebrity/comedian cameos like Rob Riggle, Patton Oswalt, H. Jon Benjamin, and many others that make the film so enjoyable.
It’s staggering that 22 Jump Street is as good as it is. By all accounts it should be The Hangover Part II all over again. However, Lord and Miller rise above all that by making fun of convention while still working within it. Right when things start to lull, it gets kicked right back up into high gear. It’s a spectacular display that proves that lightning can indeed strike twice and be just as funny as before.