22 Jump Street

By Christopher Redmond

Mailed on June 19, 2014

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Dear G.A. Aguilar
Second Unit Director

Dear G.A.,

Hooray, you're back! This was your second shot at second unit directing the second Jump Street film. But rather than having a bad case of deja vu, you probably felt even more comfortable in your role. The action scenes you directed this time were a little bigger, and even better suited to your considerable experience with stunts. The party scenes you handled were also a lot wilder, and, as a whole, 22 Jump Street _trades the element of surprise from the first film for pure comedic satisfaction. That's quite an uncommon accomplishment for a sequel - especially one that's fixated on _being a sequel.

The repeatedly self-referential narrative part of the film, however, didn't concern you. Why would it? Your job is always a bit repetitive anyway, working on all the connective tissue that doesn't involve the stars - in this case, the establishing shots of the fictional "Metro City", the transition scenes around campus, and the aforementioned action sequences using stunt performers. It's up to you to understand what the film is hoping to achieve, and to fit your set pieces into an established template. It's almost like making a sequel within a sequel.

Whoa. Did I just out-meta Phil Lord and Christopher Miller?

Hardly. The fact they were able to keep their pace for the entire runtime - actually,_ longer_ than the runtime with some incredible end credits - is fairly astonishing. Despite the overtly self-aware tone of the film, it never crosses into parody. This is mainly because Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum once again fully commit to their too-old-for-school undercover cop characters and never wink at the audience by acting above the material. Even the homoerotic bro-mance gets hit up so often that it actually changes from being a lazy joke to the entire point of the film. This obsession with a professional marriage no doubt comes by Lord and Miller honestly, as they represent an extremely rare case of non-sibling co-directors who have made several projects together (including the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs films and The Lego Movie). Their hot streak shows no signs of slowing down, either. If I were you, I'd stick around.

Seeing double and loving it,


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