Film Reviews

JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK

By • Aug 24th, 2001 •

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This is what I know about fourteen-year old boys: they are obsessed with their penises, the thought of one day soon having sex, farting, and the fear of being gay. Apparently, the fear of being gay doesn’t leave the list until fourteen-year olds turn forty and make over $100,000 a year.

For writer and director Kevin Smith these things make up the subtext and pretext of JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. This is one film where the trailer is actually terrible – I went to see it despite the trailer and I’m glad I did. It is the Woody Allen comedy we’ve all been waiting for.

It’s a vulgar and silly road movie that made me laugh a lot. The ranting, foul-mouthed, anti-charm of motormouth Jay is a fresh character without a sideward glance into a “character arc.” He’s never redeemed (unless falling in love counts) and that’s exactly what I like about him – not as a friend or dinner date, but at a distance, as Silent Bob’s “hetro life-mate.” Jay is, at least, true to his stoner ideology – whatever it may be. (It appears to be centered around the blow job).

This is an insider’s movie that works even if you haven’t followed the career of Kevin Smith. I’ve only seen CLERKS, CHASING AMY, MALLRATS, and DOGMA once and I know nothing about Smith’s comic book career. There’s plenty of insider references and Hollywood dirt – from the stars themselves – to make this a movie defiantly for Smith’s audience. Here, Jay and Silent Bob step out from behind their charmed cameo appearances in all Smith films and claim an entire movie for themselves.

Its nice to know that Kevin Smith is such a great guy that all of his movie star friends joined in – even the incredibly famous Ben Affleck (who starred in CHASING AMY).

Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and Jay (Jason Mewes) are outraged when they find out Miramax is making a movie about their comic book characters – Bluntman and Chronic – which is based on themselves. Their horror is amplified when they find out that anonymous people on The Internet are flaming them. They are furious and decide to hitchhike from their outpost in front of a convenience store (where they smoke and sell pot) in New Jersey to Hollywood to stop the movie. As soon as they hit the road they get advice from George Carlin on how to hitchhike successfully. Next they meet up with a group of hot chicks – led by Shannon Elizabeth (and Ali Larter – much more in her realm than in AMERICAN OUTLAWS) – who talks them into stealing a chimp from a primate laboratory (while the girls steal jewels from the diamond center next door).

Jay insults Silent Bob throughout the movie mercilessly about being fat. He also demands oral sex from Silent Bob, who agrees. (Well, Woody always wants oral sex too, but this is definitely another take on the theme). Silent Bob has several expressions that work and let’s face it, Jay just commands so much oxygen, Silent Bob is wise to let him plow forward – letting us know exactly what he thinks about him. Silent Bob is along for the bumpy ride.

This isn’t a movie for anyone with a social conscience – my husband was shocked: Jay and Silent Bob sell dope to kids, advocate homosexuality, steal, and beat up children. He’s threatening to call Miramax. He hated it, but I can bet what his fifteen-year old son would say: awesome.

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