Runtime: 231 Mins
What To Expect: A longer, less funny movie that is just about entertaining and jam packed with extras
Expectations for the first movie were low. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in a remake of something from the 1980s? It looked like it was going to be just another shitty comedy. It was surprising then to find a movie that people familiar with the era the original belonged to could dig – two young looking cops enter high school only to find that it’s a politically correct farce, with jocks a thing of the past.
It was well paced and knew its limitations too. So when the cast and producers also hyped the idea that the second movie also knew its limitations, expectations were high. They have not been exceeded or even met. That doesn’t make it a bad movie though.
This time around both Officer Jenko (Channing Tatum) and Officer Schmidt (Jonah Hill) are sent undercover by Captain Dickson (Ice Cube), who despises both, to a local college to bust a new drugs ring. The premise this time is character development for what is obviously going to be a franchise – the film even parodies the eventuality several times. Both Tatum and Hill go through the phase of jealousy, growing apart, separation and finally reconciliation, via a finale action sequence. Along the way, almost crucially, Ice Cube is given a heavier role and brought in as a third character in the relationship.
This film is not as good as the first. And I’m going to explain why. First, I don’t like college boys (they think they’re pretty smart), especially modern day college boys, they’re all leftist, genderless bitches. I was looking forward to them being brought down a peg or two by Tatum and his crude ’90s demeanour. That wasn’t the case, instead this ‘bro relationship’ thing is drawn out and stretched too thin. It’s character development, but Shane Black did it much better with Riggs and Murtagh with 10% of the needless shit. The movie is too long, it could’ve been better if most of that shit was condensed. The other thing that bothers me, the villain, Peter Stormare, appears too infrequently – he’s much funnier than the try hard kids Tatum/Hill hang out with. C’mon man, his name in the movie is ‘The Ghost’…
What just about saves this movie is the undeniable chemistry between Tatum and Hill. The stuff that is written for them isn’t always funny, but they make it easy viewing, sometimes very funny. And when it sags around the middle, Ice Cube shows up to deliver probably the most genuine laughs of the movie. When Ice Cube threatens Jonah Hill a movie that was on the rails suddenly re-enters genuine comedy territory.
The Blu-Ray release gets extras and value probably more deserving than the actual movie. There are two hours of extras here, not including the riotous commentary track. That includes over ten featurettes and around 30 deleted scenes. The commentary is perhaps the best thing about this Blu-Ray aside from its fine transfer. Hill and Tatum join the director’s for an expletive-laden discussion full of mostly funny quips and anecdotes, which makes a change from baron commentaries where a director will throw out some boring trivia every 8 minutes. In fact they’re often so enthusiastic that sometimes their voices crowd each other, but that’s a small complaint. So this movie then, it could have been worse and in fact seems patently aware of how close to cashing-in it has surfed, which kind of eases tedium that sometimes pops up.
A fine Blu-Ray release for a not-too-bad movie.