Following on the heels of one of my favorite comedies of the past five years is no small task and yet 22 Jump Street manages to stand toe-to-toe with its hugely successful predecessor at almost every turn. Sure its self-awareness can be heavy-handed at times, but the film’s deconstruction of comedy sequels is refreshingly on point and far more incisive than a summer blockbuster has any right to be. As far as performances go, while Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube deserve all the praise they receive for carrying the movie, I can’t say enough about how much Jillian Bell brings to the table in every single scene she’s a part of. The former SNL writer is responsible for my biggest laugh of the film which is saying a lot when you consider the consistent laughs that 22 elicits. Add in a near perfect end credits sequence for good measure and the result is the rare sequel that knows exactly what it is, where it came from, and where it wants to go.
We’ll talk more about 22 Jump Street after the jump while the rest of this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Dumb and Dumber To, interviews for and a review of How to Train Your Dragon 2, the excellent first trailer for director Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Birdman starring Michael Keaton, and a look at some of the most popular video game trailer premieres from E3 2014. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.