22 Jump Street


It is to be presumed that the audience for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's 22 Jump Street skews young even though the film's cleverness would resonate most with folks who remember those simmering buddy police television series from the '70s like Adam 12 and The Rookies. In those series, the female characters, while not totally ancillary, were decidedly second-tier. The True Romance was between these women's boyfriends and spouses and their partners in the squad car. 22 Jump Street, and its predecessor 21 Jump Street, parody the '80s series by pushing the entire genre over a cliff to hilarious effect. Jonah Hill (Schmidt, the smart, fat one) and Channing Tatum (Jenko, the dumb, pretty one) reprise their roles as improbable cops in some fictitious California city who go undercover in a high school in the 2012 film and a college in this one to stamp out the narcotic trade that's preying on the community's youths. Hill and Tatum have enormous chemistry and their juvenile co-dependency makes for some of the sharpest observations about relationships this highly observant film has to offer. Ice Cube plays their commanding office, Capt. Dickson, whose part consists almost entirely of blasting everyone within earshot with profanity and threats. Much like that other summer release Neighbors, 22 Jump Street overflows with sexual references and hints of homoeroticism that fans of this genre (I don't know the name but it's leading perpetrators are Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and their crew) have come to expect, if not demand. Highly recommended but not for youngsters.

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