What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sequel to 2012's hit 21 Jump Street is nearly as hilarious -- and easily as crass. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return as undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko; their bromance is one of the franchise's main selling points, and they keep it going here. Expect tons of lewd and crude jokes about sex, college, work, and the like (some jokes about a strong friendship between two guys have a homophobic subtext that comes off as overly tasteless/uncomfortable instead of funny). There isn't much nudity, but couples are seen in their underwear, presumably post hook-up; co-eds converge on a spring break beach community in skimpy bathing suits; and one scene shows a man pretending to perform a sex act on another. There's also action movie-style violence, from gun fights and hand-to-hand combat to car chases and explosions, but mostly portrayed in a cartoonish fashion and is played for laughs. Prepare for loads of swearing -- including "s--t," "bitch," and many variations on "f--k" -- and some underage drinking at college parties. As in the first one, the plot has a drug-related focus (the guys are investigating a new recreational drug that killed a college student).
  • Families can talk about the fact that, while 22 Jump Street has gun fights, they're played with loads of machismo and humor. Does that diminish the grittiness of the violence? Or its impact?
  • One one hand, the movie has a subplot about one character discovering the destructiveness of certain slur words, and yet these moments are played for laughs. Is that effective -- or even appropriate?
  • What does 22 Jump Street have in common with other buddy comedies? How is it better or worse?
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