Entertainment Movies
Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'22 Jump Street' tells similar jokes, is still funny

*** (out of four)

It ruins nothing to say that “22 Jump Street” ends with increasingly ridiculous ideas for the next movie. And the next movie. And the next 10 movies after that. If you’re that person who leaps up at the end to go to the bathroom/get the car/tweet a review with five exclamation points, you’re going to want to wait on that. Had “22 Jump Street” been nothing but 100 of these fake movie concepts, I might not complain.

Instead, the sequel to the funny 2012 hit, revived from the late-’80s series starring Johnny Depp, continually references the absurdity of its own existence. “Do the same thing as last time,” demands Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman). “Everyone’s happy.” Other self-referential lines include Schmidt (Jonah Hill) saying his boss’ (Ice Cube) new office looks like a giant cube of ice and Jenko (Channing Tatum) suggesting he and his partner enter the Secret Service and protect the White House (a la Tatum’s entertaining, outrageous “White House Down”).

Once again, the officers attempt to expose a complex drug operation, this time in college instead of high school—which doesn’t stop many people from noting that they’re blatantly too old to pass for freshmen. Regardless, Jenko becomes BFFs with the star quarterback/frat president (Wyatt Russell) and Schmidt sparks a relationship with Maya (Amber Stevens), a missed opportunity for Jenko to have a girlfriend and Schmidt to embrace his outsiderness.

In one of many unfortunately timed gags, Maya continually calls Schmidt “Maya Angelou.” A teacher also does an impression of Tracy Morgan, and Jenko chastises someone for using the six-letter F-word that Hill recently has apologized for using. Hello, irony. “22 Jump Street” dedicates time to tolerance and more time to an endless stream of jokes suggesting a homoerotic bond between Jenko and Schmidt as well as Jenko and Zook (Russell). That can be amusing in very small doses, but directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (the awesome “Lego Movie”) deliver a heaping pile.

The first movie’s emotion isn’t duplicated, yet the entertaining buzz is back. So even when “22 Jump Street” returns to bits like the guys taking drugs or being forced to perform, Hill and Tatum remain a hilarious, unusually winning combination. They’re two different flavors of nonsense, worth ordering twice.

Watch Matt review the week's big new movies Fridays at noon on NBC.

mpais@tribune.com

 

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.

 

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

  • State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    A man was shot multiple times while traveling in a minivan on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday morning, authorities said.

  • Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?

    It may sound like an urban legend: Music festival-goers bury bottles of booze in Chicago parks, plot a GPS location for the goods and uncover them days later when the festival comes alive.

  • Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night

    The Emanuel administration on Friday will propose an experiment at O'Hare International Airport to rotate the runways used late at night, possibly on a weekly basis, to spread out jet noise, the city's aviation chief told the Chicago Tribune.

  • Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach

    Along Chicago's lakefront at Fullerton Avenue Beach, cranes rolled along a causeway that only a few months ago was part of the lake itself. Every day this summer, roughly 40 construction workers are filling in Lake Michigan with dredged material and gravel, which will eventually add up to 5.8 acres...

  • Doughnut panic

    Doughnut panic

    I'm not ashamed to admit that for the past several years, I have mapped my walk to work around which doughnut shop I'd like an excuse to stop at on the way. There's nothing like the thought of a crunchy, craggy old fashioned doughnut or the sweet, yeasty chew of a classic glazed doughnut to help...

Comments
Loading
67°