22 Jump Street
dir Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
scr Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman
prd Neal H Moritz, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum
with Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Peter Stormare, Jillian Bell, Jimmy Tatro, Rob Riggle, Patton Oswalt, Queen Latifah
release UK 6.Jun.14, US 13.Jun.14
14/US Columbia 1h52
22 Jump Street
Spring breakers: Hill and Tatum

russell cube offerman
21 Jump Street (2012)
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22 Jump Street A knowing pastiche of action-comedy sequels, this film is little more than a series of nonstop jokes. Thankfully most of them are hilarious, and the fast pace and lively cast keep things buoyant even if the plot never quite materialises. But for audiences in need of some mindless comedy escapism, this'll do the trick.

After stopping a high school drug-smuggling ring, undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and Tatum) are now assigned to trace a university drug called whyphy to its source. But of course they also get caught up in campus life: Schmidt falls for smart-sexy Maya (Stevens) while Jenko bonds with frat-boy football star Zook (Russell). Captain Dickson (Cube) is more than a little annoyed by this, but has little choice but let the boys follow a lead that takes them to spring break in Mexico and a showdown with a previous nemesis (Stormare).

Aside from constant jokes about sequels and franchises, the most important element is Jenko and Schmidt's bromance, as both find other people who distract them from their partnership. This plays out with a constant barrage of gay double entendre that's clearly afraid to let the joke play out, but at least the situations and dialog are laugh-out-loud funny. As is everything in the movie, even if it's never much more than superficially silly.

Hill and Tatum have already proved that they have great chemistry, so this time they push things even further with game new costars Russell and Stevens. The other actors (plus a stream of great cameos) make their mark in short scenes that are packed with witty verbal and visual gags that merrily mess with action cliches while stirring in layers of humour. Honestly, how many movies this year will include a subtle Benny Hill gag?

So it's a shame that there's nothing else to the movie. The relentless onslaught of comedy will keep fans happy but, aside from a deliriously outrageous credits sequence that essentially rules out a follow-up, there's not much to provoke us beyond the knowing pastiche of movie sequels and university life. Even so, it affirms that directors Lord and Miller are in that rare breed of filmmakers who know how to assemble a genuinely funny comedy. With The Lego Movie, they're two for two in 2014.

cert 15 themes, language, violence, innuendo 2.Jun.14

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© 2014 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall