Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

jay and silent bob IMDb

I saw this movie once. It was years ago when it was first released on DVD. My uncle put it on, and he and my cousin proceeded to laugh like this was the funniest movie ever. I was underwhelmed. This just seemed like a lot of swearing, inside jokes, and farting.

To be fair, this movie is a lot of swearing, inside jokes, and farting. But the swearing doesn’t bother me anymore, and I’ve come to accept that most guys (and some girls) just really think farting is hilarious. Probably the most important part to enjoying this movie at all, though, is getting most of the inside jokes. Having never seen a single Kevin Smith film before my first viewing of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back I was completely lost. Well, not completely. The basic plot is easy enough to grasp, but all the references to Chasing Amy, Clerks, and Smith’s other early works went right over my head. I still found some of the movie funny, but it is vastly more enjoyable if you understand who all the supporting characters are.

That said, I’m still not crazy about this movie. It’s OK, just not my thing. There are plenty of laughs, I’m just not that interested. I did enjoy the celebrity cameos, with Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill’s being particularly great. I guess Jay and Silent Bob is really more for the die hard of Kevin Smith’s fan base.

Rating: C+

It really is funny when something just captures an audience when it really is not meant to at all. Jay and Silent Bob are two characters from nearly every one of Kevin Smith’s films, the nucleus of his ViewAskewniverse. They were in Smith’s first film Clerks for only a few scenes, but were so popular that Kevin Smith has had to place these two lovable stoners in all of his New Jersey based films except Jersey Girl. Usually Jay and Silent Bob are minor characters in these films. The exception is this one, where Jay and Silent Bob are front and centre, along with all of the wacky characters introduced in the Clerks films, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma.

Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) are reeling from being kicked out of the Quick Stop, their usual stomping ground. While dealing with their depression, Jay and Silent Bob find out that there is a movie being made about characters they helped inspire, Bluntman and Chronic (see Chasing Amy for a full recap of this story). Jay and Silent Bob are horrified to find that not only did they not get a big movie cheque for using their likeness, but whiny losers on internet message boards are also lambasting them from the privacy of their bedrooms. Jay and Silent Bob decide to travel across country to Hollywood and stop this film from ever getting made so that people will stop bagging them online. Along the way, they get mixed up in a group of thieves (Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, Jennifer Schwalbach and Shannon Elizabeth) and unwittingly become their patsies after one of their diamond heists. Now on the run from the law, Jay and Silent Bob will have to be a cagey as ever if they hope to stop the movie they inspired from getting made.

Look, this is a whole lot of fun. Kevin Smith has called in practically every Hollywood favour he must have been owed to get this film made. The celebrity cameos are awesome, highlighted by Mark Hamill as the villainous Cock-Knocker, and James Van Der Beek and Jason Biggs (the guy that fucked a pie) playing the on screen versions of Bluntman and Chronic. The best of all though, has to be Matt Damon and Ben Affleck shooting Good Will Hunting 2. It is easily the funniest moment of the movie. Affleck actually plays a few characters, as does Jason Lee, due to the fact they have appeared in several of Smith’s Jersey films.

There is something about Jason Mewes as Jay. He is just the right amount of stoner mixed with lovable loser to still be likable. You don’t ever hate Jay, even though he is a really crude guy only caring about getting laid and stoned. I have to give Mewes a lot of credit here, he has taken what was meant to be a bit part in his best friend’s first film and turned it into a career defining role. I also think Smith is somewhat underrated as Silent Bob, he rarely talks, but says so much with his hand gestures and facial expressions.

This was meant to be the end of Jay and Silent Bob, but Smith brought them back one last time to make Clerks 2. Smith has said in the past that he made a sequel to Clerks as a favour to Mewes after he got clean and sober after he had some drug issues. Even so, there is still an audience for these characters. Smith has even hinted that there is a Clerks 3 in the works.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a fun film and a great satire of Hollywood in general. I enjoy this film a lot, and is a great culmination of all of Smith’s films to date. As a long-time fan of Kevin Smith, it was a treat to see all of his films combined into this one epic film, led of course, by the straw that stirs the drink, Jay and Silent Bob.

Rating: B+

One thought on “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

  1. Pingback: Mallrats (1995) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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