Craig's Viewing Room: "22 Jump Street"

Photo Credit: Photo by Glen Wilson - © 2014 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. **ALL IMAGES ARE PROPERTY OF SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT INC

“22 Jump Street” finds everybody from “21 Jump Street” doing the same thing all over again, basically seeming like they want to defy gravity by stretching the same joke to its limits. It’s playing to a crowd that probably has no idea about the show but enjoys actors self-mocking themselves just the same. In that regard the series remains a solid success. Channing Tatum is the self-assured, athletic, lunk-headed Jenko while Jonah Hill his whimpier, more sensitive partner. They’re on a drug-dealer hunt again, only this time in college. That’s about all you need to know, the rest is all hit-or-miss set-ups like the guys performing in a poetry slam and accidentally getting high and going on a major drug trip. For the sake of padding this out, there’s stuff about Jenko trying to find his true self and Schmidt is given an impossibly hot girlfriend. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller rarely if ever come up with anything that would be called a laugh riot and like most comedies these days saying words like “penis” and “testicles” is relied upon for too many of the jokes but the opposites attract chemistry between Tatum and Hill really saves it more often than not. Ice Cube also returns as their Captain and gets a nice bit in the middle of the film where he gets to play to his comedic strength-i.e be scary-and Rob Riggle and Dave Franco make funny cameos as well. Maybe the funniest stuff in the film comes from Jillian Bell though, who cracks off strings of “old-guy” jokes with reckless abandon. It’s one of the few points of comedic wit in a film that’s lite on it but long on charm.