A consistently hilarious stream of in-jokes keeps the audience in fits of laughter even if there's virtually no plot to this follow-up to the 2012 hit 21 Jump Street. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum revive their amusing double-act to poke fun at sequels and franchises amid silly set-pieces and starry cameos. And it gives filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller their second terrific comedy of the year, after The Lego Movie.

Following their successful bust of a high school drug ring, undercover officers Schmidt and Jenko (Hill and Tatum) are assigned by their grumpy captain (Ice Cube) to infiltrate a university and track down who's dealing the new drug whyphy. But both get distracted by life on campus: Schmidt begins a romance with Maya (Amber Stevens), while Jenko finds his meathead soul-mate in football teammate Zook (Wyatt Russell). With their partnership in jeopardy, Schmidt and Jenko must refocus on a spring break trip to Mexico, where they discover an old nemesis (Peter Stormare) on the loose.

Using a non-stop series of gags about how follow-up movies are more expensive and less original, the filmmakers go about proving this hypothesis with amusingly overwrought sets and a chaotic, derivative narrative that has very little momentum. Meanwhile, they pack every moment of the film with witty humour that's played expertly by Hill and Tatum, who rekindle their chemistry with a steady barrage of gay double entendre that reveals the movie's true nature as a brom-com. On the other hand, neither the actors nor the filmmakers are willing to push things too far, so they settle for silly vulgarity instead of any black comedy or edgy humour.

Continue reading: 22 Jump Street Review