As an irreverent reboot of a beloved (but outdated) TV show, nobody could’ve expected the first “21 Jump Street” to be anywhere near as good as it turned out to be. (Especially not if you’d seen “Starsky & Hutch.”) But after opening to surprisingly strong reviews and passing the $ 200 million mark at the box office, pretty much everyone could’ve expected there was going to be a sequel.
Moving their headquarters across the street, the meta follow-up “22 Jump Street” makes good on the joke at the end of the first film about sending Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s Schmidt and Jenko off to college, even if it means taking on a case that’s “exactly the same,” according to more than one superior.
But that wouldn’t make for a very good or funny sequel if that was true, and “22 Jump Street” ends up being both. So, to ensure you’re properly prepared for what to expect the second time around, here’s 22 more things to know about Hill and Tatum’s latest undercover adventure.
1. The beginning of the movie just doesn’t work — and that’s on purpose.
2. Everyone keeps bringing up how this case (and by extension, movie) is “the exact same thing as last time.” They turn out to be mostly right, but wrong in a few key ways, which helps “22 Jump Street” avoid the “Hangover II” effect.
3. That said, some of the “major” changes include a new designer drug with a dumb acronym (and another hallucination sequence), and instead of ending with a big chase at prom, the sequel ends with a big chase at Spring Break. So yeah, it’s still kind of exactly like last time.
4. Despite Hill and Tatum only being two years older in real life, there’s approximately 75 percent more jokes about how old they look in the movie.
5. There’s a lot more screen time for Ice Cube this time. That’s a very good thing.
6. Ice Cube destroys the better part of a buffet table. See above.
7. Channing Tatum’s Jenko apparently became a parkour expert somewhere between “21” and “22 Jump Street.”
8. Jenko may not be great at improv, but Channing Tatum definitely is.
9. Jonah Hill is a two-time Academy Award nominee, which is worth remembering when his face is being attacked by an angry octopus and/or angry drug dealers.
10. The bad guys aren’t quite as good this time around.
11. The scene-stealing frat boy Zook is played by Kurt Russell’s son.
12. The scene-stealing Mercedes is played by former “SNL” writer Jillian Bell. She’s not related to anyone famous, but every bit as good. Expect to see a whole lot more of her. And Russell’s son, too.
13. The central theme in “22 Jump Street” is about Schmidt and Jenko realizing they work better when they’re together. Not coincidentally, the movie does too.
14. Yes, that was pretty much the same theme as in the last one.
15. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s return is every bit as integral to the sequel’s success as Hill and Tatum’s.
16. Just like Schmidt and Jenko, Lord and Miller have way more money to throw around this time, and it shows in the action set pieces.
17. The movie makes so many meta jokes about the characters doing the same thing, only with a bigger budget, at times “22 Jump Street” threatens to go from self-aware to self-conscious. So long, fourth wall!
18. “22 Jump Street” still ultimately works because there was clearly a lot of thought put into layering the cliché drug plot with clever jokes and smart pay-offs. Again, just like in the first movie.
19. Instead of a meet-cute, there’s a “meat-cute.” OK, so maybe not all the meta jokes work.
20. The end credits might be the best part of the movie. More surprisingly, that’s not a dig at the rest of the movie.
21. In spite of all the reasons it seemingly shouldn’t be, “22 Jump Street” might be the best comedy of the summer. Again, that’s not a dig.
22. I’d still probably watch “23 Jump Street.”
“22 Jump Street” opens in theatres on June 13.