22 Jump Street Stays Fresh
Critics are still laughing at Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2014 11:48 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are back as partners-in-crime-fighting in 22 Jump Street, but rather than go undercover as high-schoolers to infiltrate a drug ring, this time around they're going undercover as college students. How does the sequel stand up to the first installment? Read on.

  • "That Stoner No. 3 from Knocked Up and the tank top from Step Up have become Hollywood’s freshest comedy duo is impressive," writes Courtney Shea at the Globe and Mail. "That they’re keeping it fresh in a sequel is ... close to a cinematic miracle." The writing is clever and the stars' chemistry is "awesomeness."
  • The film pokes "its R-rated finger" at everything from sequels to its stars. It's "a solidly implausible story, sight gags galore, endless jokes for the two new freshmen to go sophomoric, all unfolding at breakneck speed," writes Betsy Sharkey for the Los Angeles Times. Put it all together and it's a "a raucous, raunchy, irreverent, imperfect riot." Oh, and keep an eye out for the scene-stealing Jillian Bell.
  • As David Edelstein writes at Vulture, "They get to poke fun at sequels and simultaneously make sequel money, which is a great frigging gig if you ask me." The first half "had my preview audience in stitches," though Edelstein wasn't as entertained. "But either the movie got better or I got worn down." He praises Bell, too, and notes "the ultrameta epilogue (no spoilers) is irresistible—it sends you home on a cloud."
  • But Stephen Whitty at the Star-Ledger finds missteps and notes the sequel jokes are only "mildly amusing." The film's best idea "is to tease out the gay subtext barely buried in Hollywood's new bromantic comedies." Overall, "sarcasm is fine in small doses. But when you really start pumping irony, sometimes the meta just gets, well—meh."

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