Virgin Review – 22 Jump Street (and that truly incredible end credits scene)

22 Jump Street and it's insane sequels, like Mariachi School
Esto se esta poniendo ridiculo. I can’t stop giggling, ya’ll.

22 Jump Street seemed like it would continue the precedent set in 21 Jump Street (and we’re talking about the 2012 & 2014 movies, not the 1980s Johnny Depp TV show), and in one sense, it did. It took two young(ish)-looking cops and sent them undercover as kids. In 21, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters went to high school. In 22, it was off to college.

[pullquote]What made 21 Jump Street so charming was not just sending adults to school and watch them re-navigate classes, friendships, and the prom, but in having each character accidentally take on the wrong persona — and succeed.[/pullquote] Hill had to hang with the popular crowd and the jocks, while Tatum needed to pull off Advanced Placement Chemistry classes and learn to hack phones with his new nerd pals. It was a challenge for both, but the lack of cringe-humor made this film a winner. The buddy-duo stretched who they were as people and how they thought of themselves.

[pullquote position=”right”]That was fresh and new, and very, very satisfying.[/pullquote]

22 Jump Street unfortunately put both characters where the stereotypes  went the expected course, to the movie’s sincere detriment.  Hill’s character was sent back to dweebdom, and much cringe-humor ensued. Ouch. Tatum got to run the ball for touchdowns on the field — disappearing into the glow of popularity — and acting the entitled jock for all he was worth. It wasn’t pretty. It was hard to root for either undercover cop when everything was so unpleasantly handled.

There was still humor, but it leaned towards the mean-spirited type. The young cops eventually shake off their descent into caricature-hood, but at the cost of a lot of audience goodwill.

[pullquote]I’ll add this, however: the movie’s end is worth the price of admission right there.[/pullquote] I’m sure YouTube has this end scene kicking around somewhere, spoofing how many types of “schools” these two knuckleheaded cops would be sent to infiltrate next. It is howlingly funny. I’d watch every single one of those movies, especially 2121 Jump Street. Look out for the inspired Seth Rogen cameo, among others. You can tell everyone involved had a ton of fun inventing this ‘series.’ (And Channing Tatum really should push for 38 Jump Street: Dance Academy, because, you know, TATUM.)

Hell, here’s the video. Prepare thyselves:

If you get a chance, it’s still worth viewing 22 Jump Street, but my advice is to rewatch 21 Jump Street instead for the well-meaning laughs, as Hill and Tatum seem both out of place but unexpectedly fit right in.

Movie Grade: I was going to give this a C, but am adding the Plus purely for the perfection of the “promised” sequels. It’s that clever. C+

 

Virgin Movie Review – 21 Jump Street

And this is RunPee Sis’s original 22 Jump Street review from when the movie came out in 2014:

Movie Review – 22 Jump Street

Virgin Movie Review – 21 Jump Street

jonah hill and channing tatum as cops in high school for 21 jump street
They could have called this Prom Cops and I’d probably have seen it sooner.

21 Jump Street is a sweet little film that flew under my radar until last night. When my mother DVRed it (and subsequent sequel 22 Jump Street) to her TV for our movie night, I was confused. Wasn’t this a TV show? A cop procedural from the 80s?

She promised me it was definitely a movie and probably funny, so I agreed to watch it and make my notes for a virgin movie review. [pullquote]When I saw it had Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in it, I felt a whole lot better about sitting through it.[/pullquote]

21 Jump Street is actually not a cop procedural, although it’s certainly bookended as one. It’s more like a John Hughes teen angst comedy, with enough cop buddy-hood to keep things a little more grown-up. And yes, upon due investigation, this is a sort of remake/reinvisioned-sequel to the 1987 TV show of the same name. (Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a movie is a continued story or a reboot, but ultimately it doesn’t matter here.)

Was it funny? I’d say I smiled a whole lot throughout and even LOLed a few times. The constant meta-references to Tatum looking too old to be in high school landed well, as did the other funny self-aware bits, like when the police chief tells our guys he’s resurrecting an obsolete, defunct 80s undercover program. Which, yes, that’s exactly what’s happening in-story and outside the confines of 21 Jump Street. When the drama class director says, “And that’s the end of the second act,” it really was the end of the film’s second act. [pullquote position=”right”]For a fluff movie deriving laughs from a fish-out-of-water high school scenario, I found the meta humor more sophisticated than expected in this kind of genre.[/pullquote]

Self-aware joking aside, this movie had a lovely twist in it that I didn’t see coming. I expected things to more or less continue the old school hierarchies seen in the first three minutes, before Hill and Tatum’s characters entered the police academy.

If you haven’t seen 21 Jump Street (the movie, not the TV show), then you might want to stop reading here because I’m going to spoil the twist. Actually, it’s not a twist so much as the entire premise of the show, and I’m surprised I didn’t realize this going in. It made for a pleasant first time viewing to not know, so if you are a complete newbie to this like I was, go away now and come back later.  😉

Spoilers ahead!

When we learn the two boys accidentally took on each other’s fake names, I was prepared for a lot of cringe humor (which I cordially dislike). What I got instead was how Hill’s dweeby persona actually suited him in the brave new world of what is/isn’t cool at school seven years later…and how Tatum’s dim-witted turn as a kid enrolled in advanced placement classes actually leveled him up, to the point he could crack jokes about KNO3 (potassium nitrate), and learn to jail-break a phone with his new-found friendly, accepting nerd friends. [pullquote]It was nice to see a movie where role reversals don’t depend on being desperately out of one’s element.[/pullquote] (Haha, I just made a joke about elements, and wasn’t even trying. See? The film even made me smarter.)

Here’s the cute 21 Jump Street scene about KNO3 (it’s about a minute long):

Also, there’s this bit of rocket fun if you add sugar to potassium nitrate. What’s not to love about chemistry? Also, don’t go out now and blow your fool hands off:

Hill and Tatum have some good chemistry together, which looks like it surprised them as much as the viewer. It was all very playful, like two big puppies wrestling. At the prom.

Now that our next Jump Street sees the “brothers” leaving high school and entering college undercover in 22 Jump Street, I’m looking forward to tonight’s film.

Movie Grade: B

Virgin Review – 22 Jump Street (and that truly incredible end credits scene)

Movie Review – 22 Jump Street

A Discussion on Buddy Cop Movies

Movie Review – 22 Jump Street

Movie Review - 22 Jump StreetI found a lot to love and a lot to dislike about this sequel.

What’s to love? Well, it’s still really funny. There are some laugh out loud moments and then there are some throw your head back and cackle moments. Who doesn’t love that?

On the flip side, there were some awkward moments that were cringe-worthy. In the first film, the synergy between the two main characters is what made it great. I loved seeing these two completely different characters come together and make a great team. Unfortunately, the writers abandoned that in the sequel. Schmidt (Jonah Hill) comes across as needy and slightly emasculated.

I’m not a screen writer, but it seems pretty basic to me that when you have two actors who are such good friends off screen, and whose characters played so well together in the first film, then maybe you should build on that, instead of tear it apart.

Fortunately, the off screen chemistry between Channing and Jonah went a long way toward covering up the poor writing choices. But it still fell short of my expectations.

Based on the extras during the credits, we are going to be seeing a lot more of the Jump Street franchise. I know they played up the stupid side just to make us laugh at the end, but I tell you what, if they do make any more of them….some changes need to be made!

Grade: C+

About The Peetimes: There were so many funny scenes it was hard finding good Peetimes. Because of that I would recommend the first one. #1 doesn’t have anything that very funny. #2 contains a funny exchange between the roommate and Schmidt.

There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of 22 Jump Street. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (R) for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence
Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime

Buy the movie from Amazon.com on DVD or Blu Ray

Virgin Movie Review – 21 Jump Street

Virgin Review – 22 Jump Street (and that truly incredible end credits scene)