Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller broke-out in Hollywood with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a 3D animated feature that used its source material – a beloved illustrated children’s book of the same name – as a springboard for riffing on the commercialization of kids’ entertainment. The pair’s sophomore project was the 21 Jump Street movie reboot, which also proved to be a critical/financial hit; the dynamic duo are now officially batting three for three, as their The LEGO Movie continues to earn raves and top box office charts.
Lord and Miller will return this summer with 22 Jump Street, which is both a followup to their 21 Jump Street film and their first venture in the world of sequels (since they skipped on helming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2). Sony released both a red band trailer and green band promo for the Jump Street sequel a couple months back, but the studio has now made a different cut of the latter (featuring an “alternate ending”) available online – one that you may’ve already seen on the big screen, if you’ve gone to a screening of Sony’s RoboCop remake/reboot over the past week.
22 Jump Street – which, yes, moves the Jump Street squad’s headquarters across the street from the Korean church in the reboot – follows oddball cops Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Schmidt (Jonah Hill) as they “graduate” from working undercover at high school to college, where the pair attempt to stomp out another drug ring – all while returning to the world of hard studying by day, frat parties and booze-fueled mayhem by night. As before, having to revisit a familiar environment leads the pair to discover new truths about one another (and things they didn’t even know about themselves).
Tatum’s surprising knack for comedy – combined with his oil and water chemistry with Hill – made the 21 Jump Street reboot a lot of fun to watch, but what really elevated the film was how Lord and Miller used the original 1980s TV show’s campy premise as the basis for a cheeky buddy-cop flick – one that examines the high school experience, in terms of both its psychological after-effects and how it has changed in the present day (similar to how LEGO Movie both embraces and comically deconstructs the current state of the pop culture landscape).
Comedy sequels often struggle to recapture the inspired wit and/or brains of their predecessor (see: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues for a recent example), but Lord and Miller are clearly working in their prime right now, so there’s good reason to believe that 22 Jump Street can be just as smart and funny as their previous work. The screen story was once again conceived by Hill and Michael Bacall (Project X), but it remains to be seen if pair have as much to say about the modern college mentality as they did with high school.
22 Jump Street opens in theaters on June 13th, 2014.