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Review: 'Jump Street' mostly hilarious but too much of good thing

The first 90 minutes of 22 Jump Street, the sequel to the adaptation of the ‘80s-era TV show 21 Jump Street, offers sheer silly, stupid, gut busting tinkle your pants hilarity.

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill star as undercover cops working a case as college students in "22 Jump Street."
Used with permission of Columbia Studios

The other 23 minutes? They drag the movie down as a sinking feeling that the filmmakers – directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – felt obligated to stretch this one out for the audience. For this film, which opens today (June 13), they needn’t have.

For its first 90 minutes Jump Street is screamingly hilarious with the laughs coming at a fast, relentless clip that keeps the audience rolling. There’s little doubt that Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum possess chemistry as two borderline mediocre cops who pose as students to bust crimes.

The first time around it was in high school. Now, as they promised at the end of the first film. It’s college and the tables have turned.

Last time out, Jonah Hill’s Schmidt, a high school pariah found himself on the A-list in his undercover assignment. Tatum’s Jenko, a popular jock, was on the outside looking in. Guess what happens this time?

And the fact that the roles have reverted to their natural state puts a strain, a huge one, on their friendship as they try to track who is distributing a new designer drug on the local college campus.

Jenko, who earns a spot on the football team as a walk-on, starts a bro-mance with the starting quarterback, while Schmidt looks to find his place.

The crime story is almost a secondary plot device, and given how contrived it is that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It allows Hill and Tatum to flesh out their characters’ relationship more and just plain have more fun.

Toss in Ice Cube as their precinct captain for more chill factor and Jump Street is generally an enjoyable way to spend some time, but it’s difficult not to think that the directors didn’t know when to end a really good thing.

Movie: 22 Jump Street
Director: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Cast: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Peter Stormare
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Rated: R for language throughout, sexual content, drug material, brief nudity and some violence.
Running time: 113 minutes
George’s rating: 3.5-of-5 stars
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com