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21 jump street

Sequel. Few words in entertainment hold as much possibility . . . and potential for failure. Without the burden of world building from scratch, the storytellers have the entire two-ish hours to tell their tale: The Godfather II; The Empire Strikes Back; Aliens; The Dark Knight; Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. However they can also try to accomplish too much in too short a time, flooding the zone with characters and plot line to a point where it is becomes one big mess: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; The Matrix Reloaded; Speed II. Hell, even Legally Blonde II feel far below its predecessor in quality. In the end, a lot of right and a helluva lotta wrong can occur in the second movie. It is within this paradigm that we find “22 Jump Street”, the newest installment of the buddy cop genre featuring faux-Chippendales dancer Channing Tatum, and our favorite AARP-version of humpty dumpty, Jonah Hill. It’s hilarious and better than the first one, plain and simple. The two main characters shine, the side characters get a lot more screen time, and the plot is not a carbon copy of the first (a classic flaw that dooms most sequels). However, its self-aware nature really makes this stand out. They “get it”, are in on the jokes, and just wanna have a good time.