Welcome to Commentary Commentary, where we sit and listen to filmmakers talk about their work and then share the most interesting parts. In this issue, Rob Hunter is hungry for a great, fun studio comedy and finds one in a new watch – with commentary – from 22 Jump Street.
Even if 2020 hadn’t been the year it was so far, it would be characterized by the lack of fun comedies. Sure, there have been some funny movies, but the last great laughing comedy to hit theaters was Good Boys, which opened in August 2019. It’s true! Anyway, the desire for something heavy made me laugh about a new watch from the 2014s 22 Jump Street. And guess what? The damn thing is still an absolute rarity of a sequel that can hold its own against its predecessor.
Both films are new to 4K UltraHD and come with all the extras, including commentary tracks. So read on to see what I heard in the commentary on 22 Jump Street!
22 Jump Street (2014)
Commentators: Phil Lord & Chris Miller (Directors), Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum (Actors)
1. The filmmakers apparently inserted a slight cough into the rear right channel of the sound mix just before the Sony logo appeared on the screen. It was only in theatrical prints and “then everyone at Sony freaked out about it.” They add that they weren’t allowed to add it to the Blu-ray as it could freak people out watching alone at home.
2. The white parrot broke guideline at 6:41 am and actually “attacked” Hill. “That didn’t act,” says Hill. “I don’t like birds.”
3. The “ice cube” joke was originally a “block of frozen water” but no one ever laughed as it was apparently a step too much.
4th The comment was taken the day after the film premiered in Los Angeles, and some of them have hangovers.
5. The original plan for Mercedes (Jillian Bell) should use “Winklevoss her” and CG to create an identical twin.
6th Tatum wasn’t a fan of being involved in the impromptu riffing of the first film, but he was much more comfortable with it during the sequel.
7th The Doritos product placement at 11:50 p.m. is a shrewd indication of the imminent return of Rob Riggleis Mr. Walters from the first film. If you remember, he was the villain whose love for Cool Ranch Doritos linked him to the illegal substances.
8th. They all joke about filming the prison scene in a real New Orleans prison, but Hill brings the mood down by remembering seeing a “woman without a face” there.
9. “I never have to work with Kurt Russell,” says Tatum, “because I essentially worked with him.” He is referring to co-star Wyatt Russell who “looks so much like him if I stared into his eyes.” Interestingly, just a year later, Tatum appeared on The Hateful Eight with Kurt Russell.
10. Maya Angelou died two weeks before the film was released and they didn’t have time to swap references. However, they decided it was okay as it isn’t disrespectful.
11. They were all blown away by Bell’s joke with Hill in the morning scene. The filmmakers note that this was the first time they saw Hill hot on his heels. “It’s like thinking about what I’m going to say before I say it and saying it better and funnier than me.”
12th The old man with the broken ankle who tried to get past Hill at 5:08 p.m. was not scheduled. It cuts just before Hill turns to the camera and asks what it’s actually about when he wonders if the filmmakers are messing with him. “I’ll just stay in the scene and see what happens,” he recalls.
13th They tried to get Cate Blanchett to follow up the Carte Blanche joke for the end credits sequence, but she was “busy” elsewhere.
14th The car chase, in which they are concerned about causing expensive damage, was actually hampered by Sony insistence on cutting costs. The Robotics Lab joke plays a role with this since the entire gag is CG, but they feel like they messed up the name as “Robotics” doesn’t immediately scream “expensive”.
15th “We melted the end zone,” they say as the goal post goes up in flames. The fire was three times larger than expected and actually damaged the end zone of this field – which had been built after Hurricane Katrina for local schools to come together and play on. They obviously paid to restore everything to its former glory.
16. The spring break sequence originally featured some topless women, but “it turns out breasts aren’t funny.”
17th The sign for Gringo Pendejo was illegal – it’s essentially called White Motherfuckers – so they had to shoot it and cover it up immediately.
18th They tried two things at the premiere of the film – they wanted to pull up in the little football helmet car, and Tatum wanted to pull the Lamborghini past the theater a couple of times and turn the engine – but Sony broke both. “I’m looking at the Sony representative right now.”
19th The initial fight between Hill and Bell was improvised and captured in a single shot (with two cameras). When she moves in for a kiss, Hill can be seen almost laughing and looking over at Lord & Miller at 1:31:09. He looks at her a few more times during the scene and they all love it.
20th The drunk girl who walks on Tatum’s shoulders during his fight against the two bad guys is Mickey Facchinello. Tatum also carried her around while filming Jupiter Ascending (2015) as she was Mila Kunis’ stunt double.
21st The red handkerchief on Tatum’s hand is what Richard Grieco wore on the original TV show. A scene between the two was cut from the film, but is available on the Blu-ray.
22nd They regret that they didn’t kiss the two at the end of the film after coming out of the sea.
23 The film originally ended with the couple saying they never wanted to do this again, but the test audience didn’t respond well so they created the different variations – medical school, semesters at sea, etc. – just a month before the film started.
Best in Context-Free Comment
“I saw that guy from Mumford & Sons!”
“[Nick] Offerman has the best face to cut away to. “
“My only movie that I think my father really enjoyed is this one.”
“Why is that funny?”
“That could definitely be in Paul Blart, but whatever.”
“Do you remember how hard I fought for pigs?”
“Look how big this guy is on the left just staring at Jonah’s ass.”
“You don’t want to be in the French Quarter in Margaritaville at seven in the morning.”
A new watch from 22 Jump Street, even one with the commentary track, shows that this is a modern day comedy classic, and the commentary confirms all four talents as fun people, even without a script in front of them. They share anecdotes from the film’s production, talk about how much rum they drank along the way, and show deep respect and appreciation for each other and the rest of the cast and crew. Their love for Jillian Bell is especially entertaining, and they even respect those of us who listen to the commentary by speaking until the end of the credits. If only we could convince the quartet to move down 23 Jump Street …
Read more comment comment from the archive.