Last weekend I did in fact see two movies but since I was taking the weekend off I didn’t write them up. It’s a bit late now, so here are some quick impressions in case you’re trying to decide what to see this weekend.
22 Jump Street
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that was as self-aware as 22 Jump Street. the first film had a bit of meta humour but 22 Jump Street knowingly adheres to all the tropes of a sequel and makes fun of them literally the entire run of the movie as they come up and it’s hilarious. It starts out with a big action teaser and then the police captain literally tells them “do the same thing again” and when they later explain tactics they’re using the captain yells “It’s the same case! Do the same thing!”
What really makes the film work is Hill and Tatum’s chemistry and a particularly great performance from Tatum as the half of the duo that gets to live out their dreams at school this time around.
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller continue on their streak of making awesome films, 22 Jump Street looks great and is paced nearly perfectly. You should see 22 Jump Street if you like funny movies, and you should definitely see it if you like action movie sequels.
How To Train Your Dragon 2
How To Train Your Dragon sort of came out of nowhere for me. It was pretty plain from the start that it would spawn a franchise because that’s what Dreamworks animated films do but I hadn’t really expected it to also be great. In fact I hadn’t counted on it being by far my favourite Dreamworks animated film.
How To Train Your Dragon is a hard act to follow but the sequel is also fantastic. The story picks up five years later and berg is a changed place. Dragons are everywhere and Hiccup is the favourite son of the village. This time around he’s bucking under the looming responsibility of taking over as chief when all he wants to do is fly with Toothless and explore. That exploring leads him to meet Drago Bludvist, a mad man looking to conquer the world and is using dragons to do it.
What’s great is that rather than just re-tread the same plot as last time (Hiccup’s idealism changes the world) they go pretty much the opposite way. Everyone tells him that Drago can’t be reasoned with but he tries despite them and when he gets his comeuppance it’s heartbreaking.
Hiccups mother returns to his life which would be a spoiler if it weren’t in the trailer and she represents the life that he wants, she’s been out on her own living with Dragons his whole life and he then has to make the obvious choice of “stay with dad and be chief” or “go with mom and live with dragons”. It sounds simple and you’re probably guessing what happens but even if you do the way the film gets there is great and totally worth seeing. That, and the flying sequences are once again amazing, exhilarating, and bet experienced on the big screen.
This is a must see people, if you liked the first one, if you have kids, and/or if you just happen to like good movies.