22 Jump Street | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

22 Jump Street

This bromantic spoof and reboot is saved by its dynamic duo of stars

click to enlarge Work hard, play hard: Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 22 Jump Street
Work hard, play hard: Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill

If you've said, "What this summer needs is a nearly identical sequel to a previous bromance groaning with sight gags, vulgar jokes and self-referential winks that doubles-down on the meta-humor about being a bromantic sequel," then you're in luck. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's 22 Jump Street re-boots the undercover-cop duo portrayed by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street. ("Do the same thing as last time, and everybody's happy," says their boss.) So they enroll in college to bust a drug ring there, but mostly work on testing out the limits of their relationship, when Tatum's character falls for an alpha-bro football player.

Being self-aware of its own lack of originality helped lift 21 Jump Street above the f-bomb noise of most comedies. It's still a funny idea, though not as clever a second time around, and too much of 21's inferior material — the one-note Ice Cube, the chase scenes and profanity in place of wit — has been extended. But Tatum and Hill are a winning team, selling jokes that should be too dumb to work, and bickering with the melodic ease of a long-suffering-but-loving couple. (Though the Lucas Brothers steal the show with their beautifully timed simultaneous chatter.)

And speaking of re-packaging an idea, be sure to sit through the credits for a bonus reel of the many many Jump Streets (and ancillary products) yet to come. It's funny because it's true.

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