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22 Jump Street review: Bromance blossoms

A scene from “22 Jump Street”

A scene from “22 Jump Street”

This bonehead comedy is led by two overgrown adolescents and the makers seem eager to find the nod of such creatures among the audience but despite making their commercial motivations clear, the director duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller manage to conjure up sharp gags at such a breakneck pace that you don’t mind being in this loony space. Putting their expertise in animation films (The Lego Movie being the latest) to use they ensure that the narrative doesn’t drag and the self-referential jokes don’t outlive their welcome.

Getting an upgrade after the success of their exploits in a high school in the original, bumbling undercover agents Morton Schimdt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) this time infiltrate a college to bust a drug cartel. There are ample opportunities to indulge in coarse humour and colourful language and Hill with a reputation to play a moron with a heart lives up to the expectation. Tatum has polished his craft in the interim and is suitably goofy here as the hunk looking for his next dose of adrenaline. After a while, their blundering search for the synthetic drug curiously named WHYPHY to make a comment on the work ethic of the young generation, takes a back seat as Schmidt make friends with football junkies and Jenko builds a physical relationship with Maya (Amber Stevens) over poetry. She turns out to be the daughter of their boss (Ice Cube with a permanent scowl remains in the character) germinating into a flurry of funny situations including the hilarious transformation of Maya’s roommate Mercedes (Jillian Bell).

The difference between the original and the sequel is only as much between the numbers 21 and 22 but the comedic connection between Hill and Tatum makes us forget that we are being taken for a ride. As the film shifts gears, Schimdt and Jenko’s bond is tested for they begin to realise that perhaps their destinies lie elsewhere. This Street is a straight path but the drivers don’t follow any norms and the best part is they are not pretending to be discovering a new path.

In fact, in the end credits because we get to see the multiple variants of Jump Street that are possible including a futuristic 2121 Jump Street. It is this relentless self-mocking quality that keeps the franchise alive.

22 JUMP STREET

Genre : Comedy

Director : Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube, Amber Stevens

Bottomline: A street smart comedy that manages to regenerate the raucous atmosphere of the original.


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Printable version | Jul 4, 2022 9:32:34 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/22-jump-street-review-bromance-blossoms/article6272143.ece