22 Jump Street

Columbia Pictures

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The Smart Dumb Films of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller” — Jake Cole at Movie Mezzanine looks at two enthusiastic creators who are able to spin idiocy into smart, subtle comedy (and delicious churros).

22 Jump Street, naturally, makes copious jokes at the expense of sequels themselves, making fun of how they simply replicate formulas.

The film thus becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: by foregrounding jokes about sequels never striving to do anything different, it never stretches the boundaries set for itself by its predecessor. Explicit references to red herrings, repeated arcs and minuscule deviations in character abound, absolving the film of the responsibility of having to do anything to break out of those stifling restrictions. The buddy film also tries to comment on the sort of casually homophobic humor that infests any movie about male friendship, yet it also relies on such jokes for easy laughs. Above Lord and Miller’s other three movies, 22 Jump Street makes it plain that the pair do not break conventions so much as bend them.”

Foodfight!” — Speaking of corporate marketing disguised as cinema, Outlaw Vern brings the usual amount of aggressive insight and sarcasm to an animated abomination.

If Father of the Bride Won’t Do It…6 Classic Rom-Coms That Deserve Gay Remakes” — Katey Rich at Vanity Fair suggests that Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan get gay married. What’s most interesting about the exercise is how malleable the formula is. Rich ends up adding modern tech twists (like Grindr), but the rom-com concept is so broad that these proposed remakes might as well be completely new properties that feature two men or two women falling in love (hilariously). Funny how that works out.

We Go Deep Inside ‘The Purge: Breakout,’ a Different Kind of Haunted House” — Perri Nemiroff at Movies.com sacrifices herself to a timed, puzzle solving world of chaos and legal crime.

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