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Is ’22 Jump Street’ As Good As ’21 Jump Street’? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

22 Jump Street review
Sony Pictures

Jonah Hill (‘Evan Almighty’) and Channing Tatum (‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’) are back as Schmidt and Jenko in the sequel to ’21 Jump Street,’ titled ‘22 Jump Street.’ Is ’22 Jump Street’ as funny as the first movie? As a service to you – yes, you – we answer every question that you could possibly have about ’22 Jump Street.’

Q: Do I need to see ’21 Jump Street’ to understand the plot of ’22 Jump Street’?

A: No.

Q: Do I need to see ’21 Jump Street’ to understand the jokes in ’22 Jump Street’?

A: A lot of them, yes.

Q: Why would I not understand the jokes?

A: ’22 Jump Street’ is very self referential toward the previous movie and mocks itself throughout for being a “knockoff” of the first film.

Q: What’s a joke I wouldn’t understand without having seen the first movie?

A: “Covalent bonds.”

Q: Is ’22 Jump Street’ one of the most self-deprecating films that you’ve ever seen?

A: Yes.

Q: How does ’22 Jump Street’ begin?

A: With a “Previously, on the last episode of ‘Jump Street’” prologue that shows highlights from the first film as if it were just a television episode.

Q: At the end of ’21 Jump Street,’ Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) are sent undercover pose at students at a college. Is that where they are now?

A: As it turns out, Schmidt and Jenko were sent to an online college. But, soon, after the death of a college student after an overdose, they are both transferred back to the Jump Street program with an assignment to infiltrate a local college in order to find the supplier of a new drug called “whyphy.”

Q: What?

A: It’s pronounced “wi-fi.”

Q: This really does sound a lot like the first movie.

A: The movie is very aware that it sounds a lot like the first movie. Many, many references are made to the fact that this is the same exact mission as the first movie.

Q: Do they switch roles again, like in the first film — with Jenko hanging out with nerds and Schmidt with the cool kids?

A: That’s one trope that isn’t repeated. Jenko is great at football and begins hanging out with the college quarterback (Wyatt Russell) who wants Jenko to join both his fraternity and the football team. Schmidt is rejected by the football players and the fraternity, and instead spends his time with the “artsy” students, which includes Maya (Amber Stevens), who Schmidt develops feelings for.

Q: How many times have you already accidentally started to type ’21 Jump Street’ instead of ’22 Jump Street’?

A: Five.

Q: Will I laugh during ’22 Jump Street’?

A: Yes. A lot.

Q: How does ’22 Jump Street’ contrast to a movie like ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’?

A: Honestly, it was so refreshing to sit in a theater for a movie that was billed as a comedy and actually laugh. I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘Oh, yeah, this is the way it should be.’

Q: Is ’22 Jump Street’ the funniest movie of the year so far?

A: It’s hard to say. ‘Neighbors’ had more consistent laughs, but ’22 Jump Street’ has bigger laughs.

Q: Was that last sentence just a stupid way to write, “I don’t know. I liked them both”?

A: Yes.

Q: Is ’22 Jump Street’ better than ’21 Jump Street’?

A: Even though ’22 Jump Street’ wisely owns the fact that it’s very similar to the first movie, it’s still impossible recreate the feeling of how unique of an experience seeing ’21 Jump Street’ for the first time. ’22 Jump Street’ is certainly an extension of that, but it can’t recreate the experience of the first film.

Q: What’s the best thing about ’22 Jump Street’?

A: Like the first film, the chemistry between Hill and Tatum is what makes these movies work. Both of them – especially Tatum – seem to be having the best time in the world and the feeling is infectious.

Q: Does Ice Cube have more to do in this movie than in the first movie?

A: Yes.

Q: Does Jillian Bell steal every scene that she’s in?

A: Yes.

Q: What’s the best part of ’22 Jump Street’?

A: I don’t want this to come off like the rest of the movie isn’t funny, but the end title sequence just might be the best end title sequence that has ever been made.

Q: On a scale of one-to-ten on the scale of hyperbolic statements, where does that last one rank?

A: Six.

Q: Why are the end credits so good?

A: To reveal anything would ruin the surprise, but every time you think it might end, the joke just keeps going and going and it keeps getting better.

Q: If you were to write a story on directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, what would you title it?

A: After now ’22 Jump Street ‘ and ‘The LEGO Movie’ just this year alone, I would title it “Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are Sitting on Top of the World.”

Q: Isn’t that what Axel Foley was going to title his fake story about Michael Jackson in ‘Beverly Hills Cop’?

A: Yes. But it’s appropriate here.

Q: How many times have you already accidentally started to type ’21 Jump Street’ instead of ’22 Jump Street’?

A: Eleven.

Mike Ryan is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

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