Writer: Casey ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"21 Jump Street"
Two years ago in 2012, nobody would have thought that the big screen version of "21 Jump Street" would end up doing so well at the U.S. box office and become one of the biggest surprise hits for that year. While the rest of the world (well, most anyway) got to watch the movie in cinemas everywhere, it's really a pity that "21 Jump Street" failed to make the jump (pun intended) into our local cinemas here. But for some reason, the inevitable sequel of "22 Jump Street" managed to make it to our cinemas after all. Well, good thing for that too, because "22 Jump Street" mostly rocks!
After successfully infiltrating a drug syndicate posing as high school students in the first movie, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are going undercover again, but this time as college kids. Their mission is to locate the supplier of a synthetic drug known as WHYPHY (which is actually pronounced as "Wi-Fi" and it stands for "Work Hard? Yes, Play Hard? Yes). While investigating the case, Schmidt gets hooked up with a beautiful art student named Maya (Amber Stevens, who's a dead ringer for Beyonce!) and Jenko ends up joining a football team, led by Zook (Wyatt Russell), where both of them quickly become BFFs. When Jenko gets carried away hanging too close with Zook, Schmidt realizes their working relationship as undercover cops start to go out of focus.
The success of "21 Jump Street" pretty much owes it to the unlikely winning combo of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. In this sequel, both of them excel again as two mismatched undercover cops. Their chemistry is terrific and funny as hell, and even proves to be a real sport especially with the way they play their "bromance" roles to hilariously exaggerated heights. For instance, there's the cringe-worthy but funny scene where Schmidt helps Jenko rub sunscreen behind his neck in the bathroom while uttering an awkward; "You missed a spot" with such a straight face you just can't help but to laugh. Reprising his role as the foul-mouthed Captain Dickson, Ice Cube delivers some of his finest work as a comedic actor, particularly in the scene where he becomes furious after learning one of his undercover cops ended up sleeping with his daughter. As Maya's roommate, Mercedes, Jillian Bell plays her role well with terrific display of sarcastic wit. She is particularly best seen in the movie's finale where she engages in a fistfight against Schmidt that cleverly parodies "Mr. & Mrs. Smith".
Returning directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who recently hit box-office gold with "The Lego Movie", have again displayed considerable flair for action and comedy. While the action doesn't quite reach the inventive heights of the first movie's freeway chase sequence, the sequel still has its few worthwhile exciting moments, particularly in the thrilling finale set in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, most of the comedic parts; such as the over-the-top "bromance" angle between Schmidt and Jenko, will have you laughing hysterically.
All good things aside, "22 Jump Street" still suffers from several glaring problems. Thanks to the unnecessary two hours run time, the movie tends to lag in some of the scenes by trying too hard to be funny. And despite some of the winning cast, there are actors who don't really impress much. Amber Stevens may have been sweet-looking and photogenic, but she is no match to Brie Larson, who is sorely missed in this sequel as Schmidt's previous love interest, Molly. In fact, it's kind of strange that there is nary a mention about Molly's character here. The rest, including Wyatt Russell is sadly forgettable as Zook while Peter Stormare's typically villainous turn as The Ghost is pretty much more of the same role we have seen him before in via other movies.
Although "22 Jump Street" doesn't exactly earn the "bigger and better" worth of praise for a sequel, it remains a reasonably fun and entertaining movie. By the way, do remember not to leave the cinema early and stay tuned for the hilarious collage of scenes that mock the future sequels of the movie. And just after the end credits, there is another brief sequence worth watching as well!Cinema Online, 07 July 2014