22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street

More of the same, but more - yet somehow less.

Yes, still winningly performed, but stretches some of the virtues of its predecessor far further than necessary. The Bromance/romance parallels are at times excruciatingly played-out (the counselling scene in particular really ought to have been more concise and less laboured), and where the first film quickly and wittily dealt with the business of franchise resurrection early on, here the new target of sequel-itis is far too frequently whack-a-moled with the constant hey-this-is-just-like-the-last-mission refrains. The result is a thin spreading of the gag, unlike the intensity of the brilliant end credits sequence which crescendos in its sheer relentlessness.

My favourite line from the first film was Jenko's puzzled remark about what are, to his older eyes, members of an unidentifiable youth sub-culture - "I don't know what those are". There's nothing to match that here, nor more widely that sense of the pair's out-of-touchness with those of the half-generation younger than them, redolent of the sense that there inevitably seems to be much less comedy mileage in the placing these fish-out-of water in a college setting than in a high school one.

Less forgivable, however, is (on a first viewing, at least) a comparative structural inelegance, a tendency for the film to get sidetracked in set-pieces rather than maintain narrative momentum. Such an approach might be applauded in a deliberately anti-genre piece but feels like a lapse of focus when in the realms of pastiche.

Still, it's all more than funny enough to sustain itself for its duration, though I still find LordMiller hit-and-miss in the laughs department. But then again, who laughs at *all* the gags in Airplane! ?