In addition to being one of the best comedies in recent memory, 2012’s 21 Jump Street
was one of the most self-aware movies to come along in some time, openly mocking the fact that it was a retread of a long-forgotten, cornball ’80s cop show. So it only makes sense that the hilarious 22 Jump Street
isn’t simply a sequel. It’s a sequel about sequels, and in the action genre that means a few things: It’s essentially the same movie, only bigger and explodier. So we have dipshit cops Schmidt and Jenko (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum), this time going undercover as the world’s oldest-looking college freshmen. Once again, they’re trying to track a syndicate selling a weird designer drug that is making the rounds among the student body. And once again, one of the cops falls in with the cool kids, while the other feels neglected. Returning directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller turn the world of Jump Street
into a cartoonish landscape populated with enough throwaway sight gags to fill an entire season of The Simpsons
. Hill and Tatum, meanwhile, prove to possess a comic chemistry on par with James Franco and Seth Rogen's. Tatum’s Jenko is a geek in the body of a Chippendale dancer, and Hill instills Schmidt with a neediness that adds satisfying layers to the bromance that unfolds. The rapport between the leads is pitch-perfect, and the direction is so vibrant that the film could have been silent and remained riotously funny. Of course, if it were silent, we wouldn’t hear the dick jokes, which are just remarkable.