22 Jump Street
The key joke in 22 Jump Street is how disappointing these type of films (i.e. quick cash-in sequels) turn out to be. Its reliance on this meta-gag might have quickly begun to grate – at a certain point self-deprecation starts to feel like an awkward stand-in for a lack of anything new to say – but every line is delivered with such wide-eyed excitement that the half-manic energy proves irresistible. What’s even more pleasing is that Lord and Miller’s film bubbles with an endearing earnestness, a proud refusal to succumb to the all-out irony of the post-Family Guy age of comedy, and always seems more interested in having fun than taking pot shots.
Though it definitely lags in places, and there's no doubt that the returns this time around are significantly diminished, 22 Jump Street succeeds at being endlessly likeable, just like its leads, Hill and Tatum, who have rarely been better. [Ross McIndoe]