Sunday, June 22, 2014

22 Jump Street

Based on the TV show 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street is the story where two cops go to college to find the supplier who had been creating new drugs that has been circulating into the world of college. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller and screenplay by Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, and Rodney Rothman from a story by Bacall and Jonah Hill. The film is a spoof of sorts on sequels where characters of the first film do the same thing for the second film set in college as Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprise their roles as Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko who deal with their friendship. Also starring Amber Stevens, Peter Stormare, Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle, Dave Franco, and Ice Cube as Captain Dickson. 22 Jump Street is a witty yet off-the-wall film from Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

The film is essentially a re-hash of sorts of the first film where Schmidt and Jenko have to go undercover and pretend to be college students so they can the dealers and suppliers of a new drug that is about to become big in college campuses. Along the way, Schmidt and Jenko endure challenges that would separate them while they also deal with new enemies and secrets that come into play during their investigation. It’s a film that definitely takes the same storyline, plot-points, and such of the first film but makes it aware that it is a re-hash where there’s elements of the fourth-wall being broken as the characters often talking about budgets and doing the same thing all over again. The film’s screenplay isn’t afraid to comment on doing things all over again while there’s a lot more hilarity that goes on as well as suggestions that Schmidt and Jenko’s friendship is so much more. Notably as those that Schmidt and Jenko surround themselves would tell one person that the other is dragging him down.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s direction definitely plays into the same style as the first but with bigger set pieces, action sequences, and all sorts of things where it knows that it is making fun of itself. The compositions are quite simple at times but also stylish as it plays to Jenko’s ability to do parkour and such while Schmidt would try to do that as well. Another hilarious sequence is another take on the two getting high on drugs where both Schmidt and Jenko each get a different reaction. There’s also sequences where Lord and Miller play up the bro-mance between Schmidt and Jenko as it does have this chaotic sense of style that is a play on the cinematic style of Michael Bay.

The action sequences are over the top as much of it is shot in New Orleans while its climatic showdown is shot in Puerto Rico as it is this very wild take on spring break. While the results is obvious predictable, it is followed by a closing credits sequence that not only breaks down the fourth wall but also in the idea of what is to come in all sorts of genres and such. Overall, Lord and Miller create a very smart and extremely funny film about two guys pretending to be college kids to bust up some drug dealers, have a good time, and be aware that they’re doing the same thing all over again.

Cinematographer Barry Peterson does excellent work with the cinematography in terms of the vibrant exterior colors of the locations in its interior and exterior settings. Editors David Rennie and Keith Brachmann do fantastic work with the editing where it plays into the chaotic, speed-editing style of most action blockbusters while keeping things straightforward so that audiences can make sense of what is happening. Production designer Steve Sakland, with set decorator Tracey A. Doyle and art director Scott Plauche, does nice work with the set pieces from the frat house that Jenko gets accepted to as well as the new 22 Jump Street base that was created to showcase the bigger budget.

Costume designer Leesa Evans does terrific work with the costumes as it plays to the world of college as it‘s mostly casual. Visual effects supervisors Edwin Rivera and Peter G. Travers do amazing work with some of the visual effects that includes a hilarious scene of Schmidt and Jenko high on the new drug and the different effects it had on them. Sound editor Geoffrey G. Rubay does superb work with the sound from the sound effects of gunfire to the atmosphere of the parties. The film’s music by Mark Mothersbaugh is brilliant for its mixture of orchestral music with some electronic-based cuts while music supervisor Kier Lehman brings in a fun soundtrack that features a lot of dubstep, hip-hop, electronic music, and some songs from the 80s.

The casting by Nicole Abellera and Jeanne McCarthy is amazing as it features some notable appearances from Rob Riggle and Dave Franco reprising their roles as Mr. Walters and Eric, respectively, as well as Caroline Aaron and Joe Chrest as Schmidt’s parents, and Nick Offerman playing the role of Captain Hardy who puts Schmidt and Jenko back on the Jump Street program. Wyatt Russell is terrific as the jock Zook that Jenko befriends while Jimmy Tatro is good as Zook’s friend Rooster. The Lucas Brothers are funny as twin drug dealers who always say the same thing while Marc Evan Jackson is wonderful as the college psychiatrist who is the initial suspect as the supplier. Jillian Bell is brilliant as Mercedes who dislikes Schmidt as she is very creepy as well as being very funny. Amber Stevens is excellent as Maya as an art student Schmidt falls for as she knows about the dealer who had died as she reluctantly let Mercedes stay in her dorm room.

Peter Stormare is superb as the antagonist Ghost as this old-school drug dealer that Schmidt and Jenko try to capture as he could be connected to the new drug that is being sent out to college campuses. Ice Cube is hilarious as Captain Dickson who continues to berate Schmidt and Jenko as Cube gets more to do as it relates to a minor character in the film. Finally, there’s Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in fantastic performances as their respective characters Schmidt and Jenko. Hill displays a lot of the sensitivity and awkwardness of Schmidt that is fun to watch while Tatum brings in that physicality and dimness to his character as the two definitely have fun in their roles while not being afraid to showcase some homoerotic overtones in their bro-mance.

22 Jump Street is an excellent film from Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Featuring a great cast and a witty approach to the idea of sequels, it is a film that isn’t afraid to play dumb while be aware that it’s rehashing everything that made the first film so successful. Especially as it isn’t afraid to give the audience what they want as well as be even sillier. In the end, 22 Jump Street is a fantastic film from Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

Phil Lord & Chris Miller Films: (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs) - 21 Jump Street - The Lego Movie

© thevoid99 2014


Dan O. said...

Good review. It was very funny. I can't that it was better than the first, but it still comes very close. If they do decide to do more sequels (not the ones they have during the end credits), I'd like to see what they do next. Even if it is the same thing.

thevoid99 said...

I doubt they'll do another sequel though I wouldn't mind just as long as it's a chance for them to rip on the idea of franchises.