22 Jump Street: 8 Funniest Meta Jokes

A sequel about sequels.

From Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of the awesome Lego Movie, 22 Jump Street presents Channing Tatum's Jenko and Jonah Hill's Schmidt, who shambolically go undercover in an educational institution to tackle drug crime, while exploring their brotherly-yet-slightly-homoerotic relationship and learning lessons about who they really are. Sound familiar? That's no coincidence. Much like its older brother 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street is full to the brim with gleefully self-aware and meta jokes. It knows it's a sequel, it knows it's contrived and it even knows it probably won't be as good as the first one - and it riffs on this near constantly. Self-awareness and comedy often go together hand-in-hand. It's one of the reasons why the now cancelled Community was so popular with its cult fanbase. It's why Deadpool is one of the most popular characters in Marvel. Who's to say you can't make something while mocking the medium its a part of? 22 Jump Street revels in this kind of meta humour, by taking shots at the industry, referring to other movies and even mocking its own narrative. Here are the 8 funniest ways in which it breaks the fourth wall. Spoilers ahead€

8. The Plainview Red Herrings

Early on in the movie, after studying a photo with the now imprisoned Mr Walters, Jenko and Schmidt stumble upon a clue which could be the key to their mystery - a tattoo of a man firing a bazooka appears to be on the drug dealer's arm. After visiting the tattoo parlour, they suspect a red-mohawked American football player to have said tattoo and therefore be the dealer. After some of the most unsubtle detection ever seen in cinema, it turns out that he does have a tattoo, but it is, to partially quote Star Wars, not the tattoo they are looking for. Instead, he has a tattoo of his home team's mascot, named the "Plainview Red Herrings." This is obviously a reference to the fact that this search for the tattoo on his arm is a red herring in that it throws them off the scent of who truly owns the tattoo. In fact, it then turns out that the search for the tattoo in itself is a red herring as they are not the dealer in the photo at all - it's revealed that the girl, Cynthia, is the dealer. It's a funny reveal that becomes all the more funny the more you think about it, and it's a nice reference to a literary technique that's clearly being used as the story is told.
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