It's not supposed to work this way. The way the world works is that a comedy has great success and is then immediately followed with one or two sequels that sink the franchise into mediocrity. Well, "22 Jump Street" is here and Phil Lord and Chris Miller deliver one of the rare exceptions to the rule.
"22 Jump Street" stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, back as Schmidt and Jenko, this time as undercover cops in college.
"This department has invested a lot of money to make sure Jump Street keeps going.", says Nick Offerman towards the beginning of the movie. His whole monologue is dripping with meta-humour and that's really this movies greatest strength. Not quite as subtle as the Cornetto-trilogy, the movie tells you its game-plan 10 minutes in: Do everything the same, just with more money.
Last time we saw this was with "The Hangover Part 2", which had the same idea, but thought that meant repeating the same jokes. "Jump Street" knows that you saw the first movie. And because it so openly admits to doing the same thing, it actually manages to catch you off-guard when you got to comfortable assuming you know everything. It's not a big twist or anything, just small moments in which the movie winks at you and says: "You didn't think we were gonna do that, did you?"
This movie also adds some elements and twists others around. Part of what made the first movie so great was the realization that High School inexplicably favoured Schmidt on their second go. This time Jenko gets his time in the sun. Schmidts relationship to their boss, Ice Cube (now in a bigger office resembling an Ice Cube), gets fleshed out and leads to what might be the funniest scene ever put to film.
Hill and Tatum have a chemistry together that is incredible. Their unlikely partnership is put to the test, including a couples therapy session. Talk about subtext. As in the first movie, Jenko is the strongest character of this movie and Channing Tatum plays him with so much heart, you just can't help yourself wanting to be his buddy.
Possibly one of the greatest comedy sequels ever made, this surpasses the original and is a must-watch.