Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back


Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by:Kevin Smith
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku
Released: January 24, 2002
Grade: B+

A cult movie for a cult audience.  In 1995, Kevin Smith became an overnight sensation with his low-budget look at counter-service culture, Clerks.  The film was a personal favourite of mine given I worked in a video store at the time and could meticulously relate to the gags.  Since Clerks, Smith has explored a variety of plots but has failed to match the standard of the original.

Mallrats (1995) was his first commercial effort and very much a disappointment.  Chasing Amy’s (1997) look at love and relationships helped rediscover my enjoyment for Kevin Smith.  Dogma (1999) was his boldest project but the heavy religious aspect was a little too much.  And so, we have arrived at film five - Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back.

It’s fruitless recommending this film to anyone not familiar with Kevin Smith.  It reunites characters from his previous four films and pokes fun at Hollywood and the recent trend of bad scripts.  The story revolves around two characters who have appeared is his past works and a cult icons.  Jay (Mewes) is a foul-mouthed hormonal “kid” and Silent Bob (director Smith) is his sidekick who never says a word.

If you saw Chasing Amy, you’ll remember that a comic book was created based on the lives of Jay and Silent Bob.  It was called Bluntman & Chronic and in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, the rights to the film have been purchased by Miramax executives and production is set to begin in three days time.  Jay and Silent Bob have only just learnt of this and are introduced to a new technological marvel called the “internet”.  Scanning a movie gossip website, they’ve found their names trashed by those around the world who think the Jay and Silent Bob story is crap and shouldn’t be made into a movie.  To save their image, they set off for Hollywood to make sure the movie never gets off the ground...

The plot is not important but the jokes certainly are.  The film’s essence is the way it mocks everything about Hollywood and its film industry.  There are eight million cameos but without spoiling all of them, I had to admit a scene involving Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek rivaled anything I’ve seen in a long term in terms of hilarity.  Smith fans will pick up on many of the subtle (and not so subtle) jokes that carry forward from his past films.

A bold project but not everything works as expected.  A subplot involving four young ladies who steal diamonds isn’t particularly funny and too much is made of it.  It’s strange that Smith has come up with jokes that are so good and yet others that are so bad.  Every person has a different sense of humour and no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone laugh at something that they won’t find funny.