Oops, they did it again
22 Jump Street shouldn’t be funny. Then again, 21 Jump Street should never have been funny either.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller seem to have taken the comedy stoop once occupied by the Farrelly Brothers, but unlike the childish crassness of the latter, the former have applied themselves across the spectrum – from G to R ratings. They’re adaptable, pushing both levels with an overactive sense of humor and inescapable vulgarity.
22 Jump Street is an off-kilter spoof which reflects all of the audience bad blood concerning unnecessary sequels and remakes. Never does the script take a detour. It charges forward, adamant about the sheer stupidity of such a follow-up, oozing self-awareness while beaming a sense of accidental intelligence.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are glorious as a pair, utterly mismatched and contrived as they encounter another hyper drug – WhyPhy – sinking into the brains of a college population. The reasons are almost inconsequential until the end when 22 Jump Street rags on action set-pieces and British titillation expert Benny Hill.
Baffling as it is, 22 Jump Street is a dopey, eye rolling character study about two morons who never should have passed the first lesson in the academy. It’s hilarious. Returning writer Michael Bacall joins two newcomers (Oren Uziel and Rodney Rothman) to rewrite the identical framework of the first, while altering the location and of course events. The results speak – loudly, profanely. Really profanely.
While certainly abrasive, there is a sense of cautiousness to the humor. 22 Jump Street is crazy to offer such a range, a catch-all of comedic styles from a catch-all band of modern comedians. Rife with self-depreciation, stoner gags, sex ed, meta humor, subtle one-offs, exaggerations, and over arching buddy movie parody, this film never feels settled into a sub-genre. All of this hilarious chaos in motion applies to a rather remarkable broad level of comedy.
At almost two hours, the film still isn’t done as it begins cascading names through a closing credits sequence which is amongst the most inventively satirical in ages. For as low brow as it is, 22 Jump Street respects the audience’s time enough to ensure laughs are continuous.
23 Jump Street should be a thing that happens. The idea laughs and points at the cheapness of the Hollywood system but sometimes you have to admit: it works. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Movie]
Digital cinematography for 22 Jump Street is relatively plain and even uninteresting despite plentiful detail. Frequent close-ups show sterling sharpness and definition, squeezing out facial detail in bulk. Medium shots are equally clean.
Respectable contrast, pulled together by clean black levels and strong lighting schemes, provides an adequate layer of depth. Just adequate. While perfectly fine and commendable, the movie lacks punch and weight visually. It never pops.
Part of that may be color which feels untouched by post-production. Flesh tones are pale and primaries only have zip during football games where the jerseys display some intense hues. Even to the finale which takes place on warm Mexican beaches during spring break, 22 Jump Street is never in search of heft. It’s content.
Compression work, courtesy of Sony, is fine. Source material is hardly testing of the AVC encode which is free of noise with solid overall clarity. It all seems so weirdly average, yet none of the fault is on the disc. Then again, the few members of the home theater community using 22 Jump Street as demo material (is anyone?) are probably the only ones who care. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]
Almost in tandem with the video, an accompanying DTS-HD track is… also adequate. Sound design is passe. Bullets pass by but without the directionality expected of current on-screen action. Surrounds activate, slipping into the soundfield but evaporating into the mix. Stereos are employed similarly, with side-to-side movement captured if not to any interesting levels. The disc is better at delivering ambiance during parties.
Most of the low-end material comes from the soundtrack, hitting the LFE hard. Final scenes on the beach are aggressive in reaching deep to create the necessary thumps of the beat. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Audio]
Humor continues to flow into the bonuses, with co-directors Phil Lord & Christopher Miller joined by the starring duo, Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum. What follows are 22 (ha!) deleted scenes running shy of 40-minutes, including a priceless alternate introduction.
Six featurettes reach close to an hour total and maintain the laugh quotient while doubling as informative behind-the-scenes extras. Joke-a-palooza is a six-minute collection of various gags could have fit into the finished product. Five different line-o-rama bonuses contain gold, particularly Patton Oswalt blowing up the odds to produce something out of nothing.
A Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street is a version of the movie with every joke cut out. It lasts all of 10-minutes. The full video for an in-movie recruitment gag is offered, and a parody commercial which went lightly viral with Tatum attempting an epic split brings an end to these wild bonuses. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Extras]
Click on the images below for full resolution screen captures taken directly from the Blu-ray. Images have not been altered in any way during the process.