111 – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

**NOTE: If you have either never seen or never liked any of Kevin Smith’s previous films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma), you will almost certainly dislike this movie. **

I kind of relate to Kevin Smith. The basic plotline for his breakthrough hit Clerks was a lot like this short play I wrote in the late eighties. No, he didn’t steal it from me (although we’re both Jersey boys!), but still they were eerily similar. Oh, and he’s a huge movie buff, too – check out all of his in-jokes and clever casting. There’s a decided New Jersey edge to his movies, which is always cool.

The characters of Jay and Silent Bob have appeared in each of Smith’s movies, played by Jason Mewes and Smith himself. They’re great characters, because while the plots of the movies change, they don’t. And they’re well characterized, too; even though Jay’s coarse language would put a longshoreman to shame, he’s caustically funny, obscene but hilarious. And Bob – well, he’s silent, except for one soliloqy in each movie. He’s the conscience of the picture, y’see. And Smith’s perfect for his own role.

So finally the two get their own movie, begging the question: Are the characters strong enough to warrant their own film? Could they carry it?

Answer: Hell, yeah.

Jay and Silent Bob, who have been barred via restraining order from hanging out in front of the convenience store in Clerks, find out that a comic book based on them is being made into a movie. Now, you and I might want a piece of that movie pie, but Jay and Silent Bob are more concerned with the plethora of insults being hurled at them on the Internet, mainly by overactive teenagers. So they set off on a cross-country crusade to stop the film at all costs.

Actors who have appeared in previous Smith films, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, George Carlin, Joey Lauren Adams, Brian O’Halloran, and Jeff Anderson have roles in this one – in fact, Affleck and Damon play themselves (Affleck has two roles). Other stars, like Carrie Fisher, Judd Nelson, Mark Hamill, and Will Ferrell, have small roles as well. It’s a fast-paced road movie, as the duo run into myriad characters, including the gang from Scooby Doo and a band of female jewel thieves.

Smith tosses everything in here he could think of, although there’s probably more on the cutting room floor that didn’t make it. As I said, there are plenty of inside jokes that reference previous Smith films and parody countless other Hollywood movies (Star Wars, The Fugitive).

Having watched all of Kevin Smith’s movies (and being from New Jersey, which doesn’t hurt in this case), I hardly ever stopped laughing during this entire film! I thought it was a stitch, a laugh riot. It was a lot better than it deserved to be.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: 7

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