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22 Jump Street Review: Meta Like The Muppets

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22 Jump Street


Have small children who saw the 22 Jump Street trailer and want to see it, but can’t because they’re too young? No problem, just show the Muppets Most Wanted (all the Muppet movies are meta, but Muppets Most Wanted was Meta about the fact that it is a sequel just like 22 Jump Street). There is plenty of meta commentary that feels like the thoughts the filmmakers had while this movie was in development and in production. Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), provides most of the best meta lines (“Like throwing more money at something makes it better). There is plenty from the leads as well from Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum). The film hits the major plot points of the first movie, even (mild spoiler alert) a hilarious cameo from a cast member of the original TV show, who isn’t currently as well known as Johnny Depp, but this writer had a brief crush on him at age 12.
22 Jump Street isn’t as gut bustingly funny as Neighbors, but it certain is not in short supply of laugh out loud moments. The cast, both principal and supporting characters work well together. This movie is probably the most effective when viewed in a crowded theater full of reacting audience members. There is definitely a familiar formula to the whole mystery aspect of the film. The actual guilty parties and red herrings can become obvious to people familiar with the formula, but it’s a lot of fun playing the guessing games. The film doesn’t just hit the familiar plot points or sleep walk to them (like the Hangover 2), but it plays with them and has fun with them. This film is meant to entertain and it does that. It’s not the sort of film to watch over and over again, but it is worth watching. The best part is probably the end credits, where the meta continues. This writer probably wouldn’t make a huge effort to buy the DVD, but may pick it up if it’s on sale and she has a little disposable income.