you see the Channing Tatum in a movie you know you’re going to get a
wooden performance, an actor with no comedic timing, and one whose every
line is reminiscent of Tony Curtis muttering, “Yonda lies da
castle of my fadda” in The Black Shield of Falworth (1954).
Curtis was serious about his craft and three years later in his breakout
role, which he fought and risked his career to get, brilliantly played
smarmy press agent Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success, Ernest
Lehman’s roman à clef about Walter Winchell, and followed that up two
years later as a cross-dressing musician in Billy Wilder’s classic,
Some Like it Hot. Can anyone seriously see any such performances in
Tatum’s acting weren’t bad enough, it is disappointingly directed by
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who also co-directed its predecessor,
21 Jump Street, which was surprisingly entertaining. Here,
however, they go so far over the top that it’s just insultingly
is teamed with Jonah Hill. Hill has given some fair performances but
he’s given nothing with which to work here by the banal script. There
are five writing credits (I will charitably not spread their names
around but two are the same ones who wrote the predecessor), with Hill
receiving one although I don’t know why he would want to be associated
with this as a writer; acting in it is bad enough. There are two credits
for the story for a total of seven. One story credit is to Steve Cannell
for the TV series. Having gotten to know him a little before his
untimely demise, I doubt if he’d be pleased with this piece of trash.
Throwing a bunch of F-bombs just isn’t enough.
Cube, as the boss of Tatum and Hill, was the funniest part of the first
film, but here he just reprises his anger and it loses all its humor.
More deplorable is a tasteless side story of Hill’s having sex with Ice
Cube’s daughter (Amber Stevens). Everything is so extraordinarily
implausible and silly that almost every scene has something in it that
should make anybody with an IQ over 25 squirm at its idiocy.
and Hill make a meager effort to create some sort of comedic chemistry,
but Laurel & Hardy need not worry. There is nothing the least bit
humorous about anything the two of them do and their dialogue doesn’t
even rise to a level that could at least be considered sophomoric.
Apropos of Tatum's "talent" is a scene in which he is required to try to
laugh uproariously at something Hill has done. His ability to feign
laughter brings Julia Roberts' lame efforts immediately to mind.
RReminiscent of John McEnroe’s memorable rant, “You cannot be serious!,”
some might claim that this is a really subtle “inside baseball” satire
mocking buddy movies, male bonding, and even 21 Jump Street, that
Tatum’s performance is brilliantly camp, and that it’s all a big joke.
If that’s what they intended they simply fail dismally to achieve such a
desired result. That’s a meager excuse for a film that is inexcusably
coarse, philistine, and extraordinarily unfunny.
credits indicate that there are innumerable sequels being considered.
While this might be part of the joke, and although I think we have far
too many laws in our society, there ought to be a law against making
insultingly vulgar, imbecilic films like this. The penalty would be
having to spend a month in Chicago without a gun.