Sequel success for 22 Jump Street

Undated Film Still Handout from 22 Jump Street. Pictured: Wyatt Russell as Zook, Jonah Hill as Schmidt and Channing Tatum as Jenko. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Studio Canal. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from 22 Jump Street. Pictured: Wyatt Russell as Zook, Jonah Hill as Schmidt and Channing Tatum as Jenko. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Studio Canal. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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With a knowing wink and a profusion of expletives, ‘22 Jump Street’ abides by the conventions of a sequel and condemns its dim-witted yet loveable protagonists to relive the plot of the original on a vastly inflated budget.

That’s no bad thing.

Tongue-in-cheek, self-referential playfulness abounds in Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s uproarious action-packed comedy, which adheres unabashedly to a winning formula and gleefully colludes with us for various in-jokes and sight gags.

Wonderful on-screen chemistry between the leads powers the picture through the occasional lull.

‘22 Jump Street’ opens with Schmidt and Jenko investigating criminal mastermind The Ghost (Peter Stormare) and continuing to be a liability to the public and each other.

After a sting to capture The Ghost goes bad, Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) recruits the pair for another hare-brained undercover operation.

This time, they must pose as college students and unmask the suppliers of a new drug.

‘22 Jump Street’ is as preposterous and laugh-out-loud funny as its predecessor, engineering new perils for the dunderhead double-act as they try to solve the case.

Plot twists aren’t entirely unexpected but predictability doesn’t spoil our enjoyment one bit as we marvel at Hill and Tatum’s willingness to endure bruising physical pratfalls for our amusement.

Hilarious cameos are peppered throughout, even in an extended end credits sequence that suggests Schmidt and Jenko might have a couple more undercover cases in them yet.