I was having trouble deciding which movie to watch this weekend. There weren't any action movies coming out, and none of the movies premiering on Friday (July 18th, 2014 for those of you reading in the future) seemed interesting enough to warrant me spending $12.50 of my hard-earned cash. Plus, if it's not an action movie, why would we at Dudefest.com review it?
THE PURGE: ANARCHY was out because it was horror film, and I wasn't about to pay money just to get scared. SEX TAPE looked, well, terrible. PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE was a no go as well; I don't think that as an adult I could legally see that unless accompanied by a biological child. And WISH I WAS HERE features Kickstarter-abuser Zach Braff acting, writing, and directing, which is puts this film on the far right of the Zach Braff Spectrum (way too much Zach Braff). The center (and only good amount of Zach Braff) is Scrubs, and to the left is the ninth season of Scrubs, which is the only time in human history that we've needed more Zach Braff. Apologies to Scrubs fans for the reminder that the ninth season actually happened.
21 JUMP STREET, the first of the JUMP STREET movie series, overcame a lot of odds. It had Channing Tatum in a comedy, which seemed ridiculous (and not the good kind) at the time, and Jonah Hill as a cop, which seemed arguably even more ridiculous. It also had Ice Cube in his first role in over ten years that wasn't a family comedy. Adults going undercover as high school students was by no means an original movie premise, and Jonah Hill hooking up with a high schooler was, well, gross. As a kicker, Dave Franco was the "villain"; his credits before 21 JUMP STREET included "Telephone Tree #5" in MILK and one of the characters in the series-killing abomination that was the Scrubs ninth season. Sorry to Scrubs fans for the second reminder.
Because of 21 JUMP STREET's success, 22 JUMP STREET had nothing to prove. And the actors/writers/directors/everyone else who worked on the movie took that to heart. The movie is filled to the brim with self-deprecating jokes and stabs at sequels in general. The characters, Nick Offerman's and Ice Cube's in particular, let Hill and Tatum (the audience) know early on that this mission (movie) will be the exact same thing as the previous mission (movie). They are not being dishonest, and that's actually not a bad thing.
Lack of an original or engaging plot can occasionally be a blessing in disguise for comedies. The only reason I cared about Ron Burgundy getting back together with the news crew was that it would mean there'd be more Brick Tamland lines. MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL is more of a montage of medieval jokes than a movie. And who even remembers what happens in AIRPLANE!? 22 JUMP STREET certainly fits the mold here.
In addition to the this-is-a-sequel-let's-make-fun-of-that jokes, which account for about 45% of the jokes in the film, a large portion of jokes focus on the friendship/bromance of Tatum and Hill's characters. Coincidentally, these jokes account for another 45% of jokes in the film, meaning one in every ten jokes is a non-sequel, non-bromance joke. These are arguably the funniest jokes in the film, as they don't involve stallion cadaver abuse.
But what would 22 JUMP STREET be without the sequel and bromance jokes? Without the sequel jokes, it would essentially have been THE HANGOVER 2, and without the bromance jokes, it would essentially have been the ninth season of Scrubs. That one was on purpose. I do not apologize.