DIRECTOR: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller LEAD CAST: Johan Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Ice Cube SCREENWRITER: Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel, Rodney Rothman PRODUCER: Neal H. Moritz, Johan Hill, Channing EDITOR: David Rennie MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Mark Mothersbaugh GENRE: Action & Adventure, Comedy CINEMATOGRAPHER: Barry Peterson DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer LOCATION: United States RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes
Technical assessment: 3.5
Moral assessment: 3CINEMA rating: V 14
A sequel to “21 Jump Street” (2012) this movie, like its predecessor, spoofs a television series first broadcast in 1987. This time undercover agents Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) try to be creative and pose as brothers enrolled in Metropolitan City State College in pursuit of the drug dealer Ghost (Peter Stormare) who has introduced to the campus a substance that resembles cocaine. Called “Why Phy”, the substance gives young people an energy boost and lends them heightened focus that lead to paranoia and death. They realize the drug ring is not that easy to penetrate—despite their bravado a bust goes awfully wrong, and they get a tongue-lashing from their boss Deputy Chief Hardy (Nick Offerman) who rebukes them for not just relying on past successes.
The spoofy character of 22 Jump Street is early on disclosed by co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller in the advice Chief Hardy gives the two undercover agents: “infiltrate the dealers, find the suppliers, just like the last time.” Read between the lines, it means: “Do the same thing as last time. Everyone's happy." The chemistry between Hill and Tatum fuels the entire movie, and while the setting, many of the gags, and references to a particularly American culture may whizz above the heads of the average Filipino moviegoers, the plot which focuses on the dynamics of the duo’s relationships more than compensates for the lack.
Marketed as a comedy (and therefore to most viewers light entertainment not to be taken seriously), 22 Jump Street elicits conflicting reactions from audiences. On one hand it may be praised as a substantial and god-intentioned story clad in a goofy cloak and dagger costume; on the other its approach to spoofing is cheapened by vulgar language, crotch-level gags, subtle racism, and flippant jabs at religion. For this reason the movie offers much for discussion between young ones and elders, either in school or at home.