What the critics are saying: ’22 Jump Street’

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TORONTO — In 2012, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum rebooted the ’90s made-in-Vancouver TV series 21 Jump Street as a comedy for the big screen — and it was a $200 million hit.

The duo is back in theatres with the sequel 22 Jump Street, in which they go undercover at a college to crack a drug ring.

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Is the second movie bigger and better than the first? Here’s a look at some of the reviews.

“If you loved 21 Jump Street, you’re in luck: The sequel, 22 Jump Street, is the exact same movie,” declared Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly.

“Since the first film was such a fast and fizzy buddy-cop bromance, that’s not the worst news in the world. But it is a bit of a disappointment.”

Nashawaty complained the movie “lazily milks the undercover brothers’ codependency for gay-panic punchlines (enough already). They bicker. They break up. They go their separate ways. (Cue John Waite’s ”Missing You.”) Tatum then finds a new target for his homoerotic double entendres in the alpha-male quarterback Zook, played by Wyatt (son of Kurt) Russell.”

At Express, Allan Hunter described 22 Jump Street as “just as a daft, loud and self-aware as the original.”

He wrote: “It is uneven and perhaps a smidgen too long  but 22 Jump Street certainly has fun trying to keep us entertained and hits the target often enough not to disappoint anyone who enjoyed the original.”

READ MORE: What the critics are saying about other recent movies

Richard Corliss of TIME said the movie’s best gags are about its being a sequel.

“The problem is that nearly two hours of rationalizing repetition, even by winking at it, can get wearying,” he added.

Roger Moore of McClatchy-Tribune Information Services raved about 22 Jump Street, commending it for producing “the biggest, loudest laughs of any movie this summer.”

But he, too, noted the running time.

“It goes on way too long, peaks too early and sputters,” wrote Moore, “before rallying with a frothy finale and a closing credits gag that kills, but also goes on too long.”

Boston Globe reviewer Ty Burr opined 22 Jump Street takes awhile to get going but eventually “soars on wings of pure, dopey silliness.”

But, Francesca Rudkin of the New Zealand Herald said: “For a film that appears to be utterly silly, there’s clever material and occasionally, it’s even quite sweet.”

She wrote: “Not everything fires at full throttle, and at 112 minutes removing some of the gags that miss wouldn’t have hurt, but there are enough hits to keep you smiling, and the action scenes required to liven things up. Returning fans won’t be disappointed.”

Jazz Tangcay of So So Gay summed up the sequel this way: “They took everything that worked in 21 Jump Street and threw in a lot of new material.

“Things are better the second time around.”

Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon said 22 Jump Street is a self-aware parody.

“You’d likely die from alcohol poisoning if you crafted a drinking game that forced you to take a shot every time 22 Jump Street made a reference to another film or joked that it itself is a film.

“And it works, occasionally.”

Bunch added: “The mere fact that the filmmakers are aware that they’re playing the role of a wholly unoriginal cog in the corporate machine does not really excuse their unoriginality.”

At the San Jose Mercury, Randy Myers said more sequels should be “so cheeky and self-aware.”

“None of what goes down on-screen makes one lick of sense, nor should it. 22 Jump Street realizes its main goal is to be ridiculously fun and that to do so, it must be utterly ridiculous, as well as in on the joke.”

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