After many failed television series to film adaptations, “21 Jump Street” was a shocking hit. The pairing of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill is an unlikely spark of action and comedy, a perfect blockbuster duo. Milking it for all its worth, though, “22 Jump Street” is an unnecessary sequel that stupidly emphasizes the duo’s struggling relationship rather than an action-oriented plot. Released on June 13, 2014, “22 Jump Street” hardly contains the appeal of their balanced talents; rather than mocking the previous labels of jock and nerd, now they are portrayed like a couple.
After their success as undercover cops in high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) have been recruited back into undercover work as college students to find another new drug that led to the death of a student. As Jenko finds camaraderie amongst the dimwitted football players, especially Zook (Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn), Schmidt desperately misses the companionship of Jenko but begins a relationship with Maya (Amber Stevens), a neighbor of the deceased that now rooms with the dead girl’s roommate (Jillian Bell).
As their investigation literally turns up a red herring and then begins to fade away until the major propulsion of action reignites the plot, Jenko and Schmidt behave like a husband and wife that are losing their connection. Myriad references treat the two like a gay couple, the main focus of the humor of the film, yet Jenko’s studies in Human Sexuality teach him to respect gay couples. This emphasized “understanding” seems to be the writers covering their butts in fear that their situational humor is deemed offensive. That is, in case the audience realizes that the on-going plot joke relies on the idea that the duo needs to appear possibly gay with their close, same-sex friendship.
If you can accept the immature humor of insensitive writers, “22 Jump Street” still doesn’t have the personality and fun that the previous film contains. The events are notably similar but have a less appealing, more random villain. The tag-team effort from Hill and Tatum is what makes the film bearable.
NOTE: Stick around after the extra long credits for a short scene.
Rating for “22 Jump Street:” C-
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
“22 Jump Street” is playing almost everywhere in Columbus, including Gateway and Arena Grand. For showtimes, click here.