JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, Kevin Smith's swan song to his two most famous
characters, is the best received comedy that I've seen since THERE'S SOMETHING
ABOUT MARY, which is a tea party in comparison to the foul-mouthed humor in JAY
AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. The audience didn't just laugh; they went wild with
boisterous laughter and heavy applause throughout. In short, if you like really
raunchy humor, you may find it, as I did, to be the funniest movie of the year.
(On the other hand, if you are one of those who walked out in disgust with
Smith's DOGMA, then JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK is not the movie for you.)
In one of the fastest paced movies of the year, the story has Jay and Silent Bob
(Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), a pair of card carrying drug dealers, traveling
from their New Jersey convenience store home to Hollywood so that they can stop
a movie. It seems their comic book alter egos, Bluntman and Chronic, are being
used in a movie without Jay and Silent Bob's consent. Jason Biggs and James Van
Der Beek are slated to star in it. JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK has more and
better used cameos than just about any movie that I've ever seen. Among others,
they include Carrie Fisher as a bible-toting nun, Mark Hamill as a comic book
version of his famous alter ego and Gus Van Sant as a director too busy counting
his money to yell, "Action!" Best of all are Ben Affleck and Matt Damon who
mock themselves and their movies.
The film stops several times to make fun of itself and of the audience who was
"stupid" enough to buy tickets to this movie. (Actually, purchasing tickets to
this film is extremely smart given that it delivers more laughter per dollar
than anything in recent memory.) The film even skewers people who write about
movies on the Internet. Guilty.
Although it's filled with inside jokes, you'll still be laughing even if you
only get some of them. It's easy to understand enough so that they are still
Jay is a motor mouth who hasn't met a subject that he couldn't vulgarize. His
favorite topic is oral sex, but, being an equal opportunity profaner, he's
willing to make crude jokes about absolutely anything. But it is his buddy, the
aptly named Silent Bob, who is responsible for most of the movie's success. His
reaction shots, with his wildly exaggerated eye movements, are comedic gems.
The story's main subplot concerns four animal rights activists, Justice (Shannon
Elizabeth) and her three sexy buddies, Sissy (Eliza Dushku), Missy (Jennifer
Schwalbach Smith) and Chrissy (Ali Larter). These Charlie's Angels types give a
ride to our heroes on their trek to LaLaLand to stop the picture. Jay tries to
put the moves on Justice, but he doesn't stay in command of the situation for
long. One of the funnier sight gags has the women using a pink, clam-shaped,
birth control case that contains high tech gadgetry.
Granted, it's not the movie for everyone, but, if you like Kevin Smith's brand
of humor, you'll find that this is his best. And, as I said earlier, it's the
funniest movie of the year thus far. No, wait. Forget, `thus far.' It's bound
to be the funniest movie of the year. In a time when almost every movie feels
obligated to come in at PG-13 so that they can rake in the maximum cash, it's
great to see a filmmaker with the guts to target only a mature audience.
JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK runs a lightening fast 1:35. It is rated R and
contains pervasive crude humor and language and sexual situations. It would be
acceptable for high school seniors and older.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes