Friday, November 14, 2014

22 Jump Street Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Jonah Hill (Moneyball) and Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher) are back in action in Columbia Pictures’ / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ outrageously explosive 22 JUMP STREET, debuting on Digital HD on Oct. 28, and on Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don’t have to just crack the case – they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshman to real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.
Film (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Partners Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back.  After successfully infiltrating a high school drug operation they have tried standard undercover work, and failed.   After a big failure, it makes sense to go back to what you know…to what worked.  They dust off their old aliases – the McQuaid brothers and head back to Jump Street. "21 Jump Street" was a Korean church, but the operation had to move.  Luckily another church, located at "22 Jump Street" was willing to take them all in.

A new drug, called WYPHY has been making its way across college campuses.  WYPHY stands for Work Hard Yes? Play Hard Yes?  WHYPHY certainly makes you work hard.  After taking the drug, students have razor sharp focus for hours.  After that they get brave and reckless, and a college student has lost her life. Before, when they were undercover in high school, Schmidt was the popular guy.  In college, Jenko quickly befriends a football player named Zook (Wyatt Russell) and has a fraternity interested in him.  Jenko also gets a spot on the football team which leaves Schmidt left out.  The only thing Schmidt does have going for him is the fact that he he does hook up with a girl from one of his classes named Maya (Amber Stevens), but he's forced to make the early morning walk of shame when Maya tells him she isn’t looking for anything serious. 

As the partners grow apart, Jenko finally states that they should lead separate investigations.  The only lead they started with was a photograph of a tattoo.  Jenko doesn’t like the direction the tattoo is taking them and they pair ends up in couples counseling.  Just like the first film, it takes a while to realize they are better together than a part and that they can do almost anything as a team.  Eventually they make their way back to infiltrating the dealer and finding the supplier.

The unusual chemistry of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill works well together.  It worked in the first film, and it works here.  The film is silly, impractical and juvenile – but in a good way.  If any of the childish antics from the first film rubbed you the wrong way, 22 Jump Street will do nothing to change your mind.  If you laughed out loud at the crazy pair, then there is more of what you loved in the sequel.   In this film, the physical differences between the two stars will bring you quite a few laughs.  Tatum scales buildings with ease while Hill is slowly hoisted to the top.   I think Jonah Hill was in better shape in 21 Jump Street but it’s even funnier to see him opposite Channing Tatum when the physical differences are more pronounced.

If you’ve ever complained about the lack of originality in movies, the writers of 22 Jump Street are right there with you. In 21 Jump Street, they pointed out that everyone was recycling television shows. In 22 Jump Street the theme is that there is nothing new. They’ve taken something successful, and thrown more money at it.  As with most sequels, this film can’t quite capture the magic of the first film, but it does manage to entertain.  They joke about 23 Jump Street, 24 Jump Street and so on but they should probably end it soon before the movies start to suffer.
Video (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
22 Jump Street may not be 100 % hysterical, but it sure looks good.  I’m tempted to give this a 5/5 rating, but I’m afraid to call it perfection and see something better next week and have nowhere to go.  Let’s call it pretty close to perfect.  The detail and clarity is amazing.  Bold and vibrant colors pop, especially during Jenko’s drug trip.  Many films can look good in the day light, but the night shoots are the real tests.  As the guys sneak around campus investigating fraternities, the black levels and fine detail in the dark show what a clean Blu-ray this really is.
Audio (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
22 Jump Street’s audio presentation is also quite impressive.  The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is rich and full of life.  The music supports the film well.  You do get to hear realistic gunfire, but just as piercing are Captain Dickinson’s angry rants.  Football stadium crowds have adequate weight and my complaints were minor and only evident when I was really looking for something to complain about.
Extras (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
22 Jump Street contains a healthy list of features in addition to the DVD and Ultraviolet digital copy of the film.
  • Audio Commentary – Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum provide a humorous commentary track, keeping with the silliness of the film.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes – An impressive 22 deleted/extended scenes are available with director’s commentary.
  • The Perfect Couple of Directors (9:35) - Cast and crew discuss the film, the story and how they work together.
  • Everything is Better in College (7:49) – The difference between high school and college is explored, specifically the alcohol.
  • Janning and Chonah – Over seven minutes devoted to Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s bromance.
  • New Recruits (9:45) – A look at the new members of the cast.
  • The Perfect Line (7:08) – Improvised lines are always amusing.
  • Don’t Cut Yet (8:35) – Shots with multiple angles.
  • Joke-A-Palooza – Almost six minutes of humor from different points in the film.
  • Line-O-Rama – Five extended humor sequences.
  • The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street – What happens when the humor is removed and a cop drama remains.
  • Zook & McQuaid Scout Reel – The recruitment film the guys make with dreams of going pro.
  • Jenko Split (:45) – Exactly what it says – a split.  Wow!
  • Previews for additional Sony titles.
Summary (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
22 Jump Street is actually growing on me.  Getting funnier each time I watch it.  It doesn’t have the great cameos of the first film and you’ll never get back the experience of watching Jenko and Schmidt become friends.  If you haven’t seen the first film, I highly recommend starting there.  If you choose to ignore me, 22 Jump Street does explain what has happened so far.  The directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller work well together and this is definitely their type of film.  Once again, Sony has provided a Blu-ray that looks and sounds great and contains an extensive list of special features.  The extras are as funny as the film itself and are a great compliment to the movie.  If you are a fan of 21 Jump Street, I would definitely add the sequel to your collection.

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