21 Jump Street (2012) is unique in one way: the sequel is better! 22 Jump Street (2014) saw Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as Schmidt and Jenko, once again trying to find and take down a drug supplier. The credits of the film took us through the future films (considered canon) which included 29 Jump Street: Sunday School (with a hilarious switch of Jonah Hill for Seth Rogen), 30 Jump Street: Flight School and even 2121 Jump Street which sees the duo in space! Not long after the film aired, rumours began of a Men in Black crossover movie, presumably titled something like 23 MIB. Sadly, this no longer seems to be on the cards. So instead, I’m going to tell you why it would have been awesome!
Men in Black
The Men in Black franchise started off as a book series but is more well-known for the 1997 movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. This led to a pretty entertaining sequel followed by one that was less so. Personally, I got the feeling that Will Smith’s involvement in the storyline led to the clichéd father/son arc which literally ALL Will Smith films seem to have (I’m not even kidding: Focus, After Earth, Men in Black 3, I am Legend, The Pursuit of Happyness, Shark Tale, Independence Day (I know he wasn’t in the awful sequel but it did follow his character’s son)…just for the record, I love Will Smith as an actor. This isn’t a criticism, simply an observation.
Anyway, doing a Men in Black 4 would have been ridiculous. We all know the films as having Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith so without either, it’s probably going to be a bit of a let-down. That is until 2019 when the movie gets a spin-off. With Chris Hemsworth set to take on the male lead (alongside an older male and a woman lead) the franchise could get a much needed bump. It could also crash and burn, further driving the franchise into the dirt like most reboots, spin-offs, sequels and prequels have in recent years…but I’m happy to be a glass half-full guy in this instance.
The point being that the Men in Black franchise is hardly up there with Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. It’s a fairly entertaining movie with pretty ridiculous concepts, clichéd storylines and actors who add the charisma (or lack of it in K’s case). My point being, they don’t have much to lose!
In comparison, the Jump Street films did an excellent job of jump-starting the franchise. I’ve never watched the original movie (which I believe is based off a TV series) but I could appreciate Johnny Depp showing up. The films themselves make fun of sequels and reboots. Every joke is completely on the nose which in most cases would be a bad thing but for these films it just adds to the humour. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t describe these films as works of art…but they can be incredibly entertaining. I for one have watched 22 Jump Street high more times than I’m willing to admit.
My point in all of this is that Men in Black could use a helping hand while Jump Street needs that boost into new levels of ridiculous. If the MIB spin-off is a success then it could even be incorporated into the film. Seeing Chris Hemsworth as a sort of K-like character could be pretty hilarious (as long as it wasn’t exactly the same as K).
Now my opinion on this matter isn’t hugely relevant to the world. I’m just a movie fan who would love to see something ridiculous but hilarious finally come out of Hollywood. I’m sick of all these movies being taken so seriously that nobody takes any risks. The same formula for every movie is used time and time again and quite frankly, I’m getting bored of it. It’s rare that I see a list of upcoming films and don’t let out a sigh!
So what do I think 23 MIB would look like? Great question!
In the same way that 22 Jump Street opened with the characters essentially narrating what had happened since the last film, 23 MIB could do the exact same thing. The film could even open with the pair landing back on Earth after their space mission which would already set up the story for aliens. They could explain all their missions and how they are ready to take a break…when suddenly, they are carted off to a secret location with bags on their heads.
When the bags are lifted, they are facing Chris Hemsworth’s character from the spin-off. He informs them that there is a mole in MIB and that he needs both of them to go undercover as MIB agents to find the mole. Alternatively, the fact they just landed on Earth would be a good opportunity to give them weird features and have them go undercover as aliens, perhaps trying to find a weapons supplier or a crazy drug (again, it would be so ridiculous that you’d just say “c’mon!”) This could lead to scenes of hilarity whereby the duo have their eyes opened to the world of extra-terrestrials.
The film would start off like the other two, seemingly heading in the exact same direction. Perhaps they even go to some sort of MIB academy and follow the same sort of scenes as last time but with sci-fi shit! They could solve the case pretty quickly when some crazy shit happens: Some sort of covert alien invasion whereby aliens are undercover among the human population, the complete opposite of the previous films.
Again, this film would be very simple to add humour to. It would already be crazy so just add some of the Schmidt-Jenko relationship to the mix and you’re sorted. For example, there has always been the divide in fitness and intelligence. In the first film, Jenko was strong and dumb but managed to use his intelligence to save the day. Schmidt was unfit and smart but despite freezing under pressure, managed to pull the trigger and shoot a dick off. We’d simply take that up another step: have Schmidt become strong and fast through alien technology while Jenko gets some sort of alien implant that makes him a genius. It wouldn’t have to be a running gag through the whole movie but certainly a few scenes. Think Scooby-Doo 2 when Shaggy and Scooby drink the weird chemicals.
Ice Cube could even have a funny role in the films again. Perhaps it turns out that he is in charge of MIB and has been training the pair for this very purpose (or he’s a recruiter or something). Hell, maybe he’s an alien and it’s revealed that his daughter is as well (obviously) which could lead to more jokes. Fuck it, make him the evil overlord!
I think that when it comes to films like this, we need to realise that they aren’t supposed to be serious. As long as it makes some sort of sense then people should just go for it, man. I mean I may have absolutely despised what Rian Johnson did to The Last Jedi but I admire him for trying to do something different. I don’t think Star Wars needed more films in the first place…but if they are going to do it, they need to do it well. That’s why I’m incredibly excited by the idea of the Game of Thrones writers getting their hands on their very own Star Wars trilogy!
We need a satire such as 23 MIB because every film showing in cinemas these days lack imagination. Those that do have imagination have no storyline. That’s why films like 21 and 22 Jump Street are so entertaining! They highlight to us just how ridiculous the film industry has become. I mean 2019 will bring us the 7th Transformers film! THE 7TH! Not to mention a Fast and Furious spin-off film that has literally nothing to do with the Fast and Furious films beyond using the characters! What the effing fuck are we doing? Marvel, DC and Lucasfilms (2 of which are Disney) have over 60 films planned for the next 5 years or so!
If we have learned anything at all from Ubisoft and the Assassin’s Creed series is that WE DON’T FORCE THE RELEASE OF TITLES SIMPLY TO MEET SOME IMAGINARY QUOTA!!!!! Come up with ideas first, work on them, find the perfect cast, the perfect director, do re-writes if necessary. Why are we hiring writers who submit their first draft as ‘it’? I mean I am awful at doing drafts but only about 10 people see each of my articles! I’m not crushing a fan-base or crumbling an empire!
I feel that while 21 and 22 Jump Street and entertaining films, they remind me of a moment in Rogue One. Yes, I did just criticize Star Wars a couple of paragraphs back. There is a moment in Rogue One when some of the characters are on the base that is just about to be hit by a blast from the Death Star. They know they are about to die and yet they look up and see this space station eclipsing the sun. Total destruction is about to occur and yet there is a beauty in that moment. Almost like a sparkle from an asteroid just before it hits Earth or the immense sight of a 300-foot wave as it envelops a city. A moment where the chaos is almost paused to allow for appreciation of just how fucked up things are.
I think this is the same idea with these films. Making 23 MIB would be ridiculous. You’d be marketing what was once a family-friendly movie to adults and stoners (sort of like Adventure Time which is marketed for ages 10+). In a way, maybe the MIB spin-off needs to flop HARD for this crossover to ever take place. We’d stand and look out the window as the film industry collapsed around us with 23 MIB doing a backflip off one of the buildings as it crumbles to the ground.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed my exploration of just some of the theories surrounding Rick and Morty!
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