Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

"Good"

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Review


Somewhere out there in the cinematic ether there's an elusive line between lewdly moronic raunch comedies like "Tomcats" or "Freddy Got Fingered" and sophomoric, low-brow sex and gross-out romps that can make even intellectual types laugh until $3 concession Coca-Cola comes out of their noses.

I don't know where that line is exactly. All I know is that "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back" is hilarious.

The latest low-budget, high-dialogue laffer from Kevin Smith -- writer-director of "Clerks," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma" -- this film puts his perennial cameo characters front and center for a combination road-trip/ruthless Hollywood satire that is so blanketed with ribald raillery it feels like machine-gun fire hitting your funny bone.

Jay and Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Smith himself) are vulgar yet somehow endearing, dimwitted bakeheads and convenience store loiterers who have appeared in all five of Smith's New Jersey-based comedies, in which he frequently mixes base humor with surprising social insightfulness.

Until becoming major supporting characters in 1999's controversial Catholicism diatribe "Dogma," they'd only popped in one scene per picture. In "Chasing Amy," for example, they met cartoonist Ben Affleck in a diner to collect royalties from a tongue-in-cheek superhero comic book he based on them called "Bluntman and Chronic."

In "Jay and Silent Bob," Miramax is making a major motion picture from that comic book, and our heroes are on a cross-country crusade to stop them -- or to at least secure a cut of the box office grosses.

Although it's jam-packed with Smith flick in-jokes, movie spoofs, cameos and showbiz digs, the story itself is pretty hackneyed and elementary. Jay and Bob unknowingly hitch a ride to Hollywood with a foursome of sexpot jewel thieves who plan to use them as fall guys for a diamond heist in Colorado. They spend the first act trying to get into the girls' leather catsuits and the second act on the run from inept lawmen, led by Will Ferrell and Judd Nelson.

But the simplistic plot is just a backdrop for Smith's constant comical commentary that includes everything from a side-splitting, sexualized "Scooby-Doo" spoof to a shoe-string budget version of the "Charlie's Angels" break-in scene to self-referential rants about the rabid internet rumor mill regarding this very movie.

Unlike the higher-minded "Dogma" and "Amy," which used humor to cloak sincere statements about religion and sexual insecurity, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" doesn't aspire to be anything more than base-comedy burlesque. It's dumb, dumb, dumb and crass, crass, crass -- but funny, funny, funny.

Right out of the gate, Smith takes pot shots at the movie industry, even leveling some ire at Miramax Films, distributor of all his films (including this one) except for "Dogma," which was sold to Lion's Gate when the picture became a political hot potato. But when Jay and Bob finally reach Tinsel Town in the third act, the industry japes really kick in, with self-mocking cameos galore (Mark Hamill, Chris Rock, Shannen Doherty and Wes Craven, to name a few).

One of the funniest scenes in the movie sees Jay and Bob breaking onto the Miramax lot and becoming extras in the gun-toting revenge thriller "Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season" (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Gus Van Sant) before being chased by security guards through episodes that parody "Scream," "E.T." and "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" almost simultaneously.

By the time Jay and Bob finally reach the "Bluntman and Chronic" set, Smith is going 100 mph with the slapsticky lampoonery and can't seem to find the breaks. It's as if he was determined to pack ever single movie-making joke he'd ever conceived into the last 30 minutes of this picture, and somewhere along the line he trips over his own sarcastic gags, falling into a finale of clichés as lame as those he mocks only moments before.

But the ratio of sore-cheek zingers to comedy duds is so high throughout the picture that it's easy to forgive Smith for losing control at the end. Not only does "Jay and Silent Bob" keep you laughing, but in its immaturity it demonstrates, ironically, a certain aptitude Smith has acquired to as a filmmaker. Making a movie this fatuous without insulting the intelligence of the audience is quite a feat.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 30 mins

In Theaters: Monday 6th August 2001

Box Office Worldwide: $33.8M

Budget: $22M

Production compaines: Dimension Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Silent Bob, as Jay, as Holden McNeil/Himself, as Randal Graves, as Dante Hicks, as Justice, as Sissy, as Chrissy, as Missy, as Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly, as Brodie Bruce/Banky Edwards, as Sheriff, as Hitchhiker, as Nun, as Brent, as Reg Hartner, as Cock-Knocker, as Alyssa Jones, as Pumpkin Escobar, as Himself, as Herself, as Himself, as Chaka, Joe Quesada as Pizza Delivery Guy, as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Advertisement
Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.