There should be a license to practice film criticism. I don’t truly mean that, because I’m a big believer in the freedom of speech. But the 85% of critics on the Tomatometer who recommended 22 Jump Street should have their right to publish movie reviews revoked. Or at least put a big asterisk by their write-ups as a disclaimer to indicate that they have no taste.
I somewhat liked the way 22 Jump Street started, and there were a few humorous moments within a convivial atmosphere built largely with side characters. But Jonah Hill is not funny or talented enough to carry the comedic weight of a movie. He couldn’t do it in The Wolf of Wall Street, and he can’t do it here. Maybe it’s just “Street” movies he’s bad at. I loved him in Superbad — a terrific comedy — but that was an ensemble. Hill had as big a part as anyone in Superbad, but he was still just one among a well-rounded cast. Thinking of Wolf and 22 Jump Street, I’m actually beginning to be annoyed by Jonah Hill — something I never thought I would say.
22 Jump Street features an exceptionally weak retread story and even weaker comedic sequences. So you are left with the performers: Jonah Hill, who is not funny enough, and Channing Tatum, who is not funny at all. That’s a whole lot of not funny. An example of how dull this movie was: it features a chase scene in a helmet-cart. Funny? No. Rather, derivative and boring. I suppose if I hadn’t already seen a hundred other chase scenes involving goofy vehicles in much funnier movies that I might be laughing as much as those in the audience — and, apparently, 85% of polled critics at Rotten Tomatoes.
Humor is subjective, I suppose. I love good comedies, so I’m not sure if it’s so much subjective as the people who liked this one were drunk or high. For a much better comedy still in theaters, opt for Neighbors instead. The best part of 22 Jump Street: the end credits, in which were projected sequel concepts through “30 Jump Street” and beyond. But definitely not worth sitting through the rest of this draining movie. 3/10