Sequel leaves you laughing out loud

22 Jump Street
22 Jump Street
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Showcase Cinemas 
Peterborough, out now

Cast: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Nick Offerman & Peter 

Running Time: 1hr 50mins

Director: Phil Lord & Chris Miller

The action is bigger, the jokes are funnier – and Ice Cube is louder.

I walked into my screening of 2012’s 21 Jump Street with extremely low expectations, as feature-length versions of old TV shows are rarely a good thing – and undercover adults going back to high school had been done to death so many times before.

However, the film’s sharp and witty script, mixed with the believable ‘bro-mance’ between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, made it one of Hollywood’s surprise hits of the year.

This time around I was expecting a lot more from my trip to the cinema and therefore worried that I’d leave disappointed. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.

This highly-anticipated sequel sees goofy cops Schmidt (Hill) and Jenko (Tatum) dispatched on an undercover assignment to find a new drug named ‘Whyphy’ (yes, as in Wi-Fi), but this time they’re off to college – where hilarious drunken shenanigans obviously await them.

But the REAL story is about the relationship between Jenko and Schmidt. Jenko (the first in his family to even pretend to go to college) becomes the star of the football team whilst Schmidt works hard to build a bond with beautiful student named Maya (Amber Stevens) – but their relationship is truly tested when they both become preoccupied with their own lives.

Ice Cube, who plays an irritated detective, definitely deserves a mention. He has much more screen time than before and is responsible for some of the best jokes in the film.

I must also mention the heaps of cameos that pop up, who (surprisingly) in no way feel forced into the script.

A lot of the gags throughout this movie are hit and miss, but because they’re so frequent, before you’ve had the chance to think “that bit wasn’t very funny” – you’re literally laughing out loud at the next joke.

But my biggest criticism is that 22 Jump Street is a little too self-aware.

“Nobody cared about the ‘Jump Street’ reboot, but you got lucky,” says Nick Offerman’s character towards the start of film, and the self-referential nudging and winking doesn’t stop there – it happens a lot and becomes a little tedious.

But overall, this is still one of the funniest films of the year – and even though it may not have the surprise element of its predecessor, it’s just as good ... if not better.

I’ve not seen an audience respond so well to a comedy for a long time.

Rating: 4/5