22 Jump Street (4 stars)

22 Jump Street

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return in one of the finest sequels you're ever likely to see

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reunite to hilarious effect in 22 Jump Street, a rare sequel that actually manages to surpass the crowd-pleasing achievements of the original.

Co-directed once again by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, this winning follow-up manages to maintain the self-deprecating and subversive tone of its predecessor (which openly acknowledged the absurdity of remaking the Johnny Depp career-making TV series) by taking aim at the shortcomings of sequels. Hence, 22 Jump Street is knowingly repetitive in a surprisingly inventive way, poking fun at everything from Michael Bay-inspired action movies to buddy cop bro-mance dynamics and coming-of-age turmoil.

Hill and Tatum play, respectively, undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko who must swap high school for college as they attempt to thwart another drugs ring. But while the plot has a familiar ring to it, complete with standard genre clichés, Lord and Miller have fun toying with and even dissecting expectation. The ensuing ride entertains by virtue of this willingness to both embrace sequel tradition and go one better so that nothing feels lazy or half-hearted. The chemistry between the two leads is still irresistible, the gags and in-jokes are inspired and the action is suitably pumped up and over the top. What’s more, there’s scene-stealing support from Ice Cube, returning as the boys’ perpetually angry boss, and clever cameos and references that extend right through the end credits (which are definitely worth staying for).

There are only a few occasions where some of the jokes feel over-worked and the pace sags but even then Lord and Miller always seem to have something up their sleeve to put the film back on track. It's a wildly entertaining feel-good movie that not only rates as one of the best mainstream comedies of the year but also one of the finest sequels you're ever likely to see.

General release from Fri 6 Jun.

22 Jump Street Trailer

22 Jump Street

  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 1h 52min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller
  • Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman
  • UK release: 6 June 2014

Undercover cops Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) swap high school for college in order to thwart another drugs ring. Hilarious sequel which manages to surpass the crowd-pleasing original by embracing its sequel-ness and going one better, with inspired gags, pumped-up action and scene-stealing support from Ice Cube as the…