Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) Miramax Films
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Jason Lee, Shannon Elizabeth, and cameos by: Mark Hamill, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, George Carlin and more…
Directed by: Kevin Smith

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back



Photo: Dimension Films

Kevin Smith was once a director who showed tremendous potential in delivering some solid laughs through some great films. 'Clerks' and 'Chasing Amy' all proved to be some well made films with a subtle yet funny message. Unfortunately, the potential in my opinion; faded away after his prior film 'Dogma' was released. With this film, it seems he has fallen victim to the splurging of budgets on tremendously interesting yet underdeveloped ideas. Hence - 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back'. I was and will forever remain a Kevin Smith fan, but it will be quite hard after this atrocity.

If one does not know who this director is and decides to view this film, one would not 'catch on' to half the jokes in this film. Do your research and enjoy the countless crossover connections to Miramax films and Smith's obsession with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

The two titular characters in the film have been prevalent supporting characters in many other Smith films. Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith - acts and directs as well) are on a trek to Hollywood after the comic book that was created in their image is turned into a feature film. Seeking monetary compensation, the two venture out on a series of misadventures that lead them to Hollywood.

From stealing a monkey, attempting to beat up Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, to having a conversation about drugs with the Scooby Doo gang - Smith throws a lot at the audience. Smith's touch is pervasive throughout the film. From writing the film, directing and co-starring in it, Smith has put a lot of effort into the film resulting in a crude yet somewhat embarrassing product.

Why all this criticism? Allow me to explain. If one would allow themselves the ability to analytically observe this film one would see that this film is clearly a parody of other parodied films. The fast start of the film slowly hastens when there is a drop in the core portion of the film resulting in Jay and Silent Bob hitchhiking to Hollywood. Many scenes in this portion are plagiarized moments from other Hollywood blockbusters that have been done and redone countless times. If Smith were so funny, why can't he create his own classic moments?

Smith transplants his characters into scenes lifted from 'The Fugitive' among other films, then once our supposed heroes are in Hollywood, this sets the basis where Smith's comedic efforts shine. Smith seemingly has a difficult time 'scoring some points' in the comedic area of originality as Jay and Silent Bob hitchhike their way to California. It is when they get to Hollywood after being chased by a goofy FBI agent 'wannabe' Federal Wildlife Marshall (played with dubiousness by SNL's Will Ferrell) that the film's greatest sequences occur. Our two characters reach their destination of the Miramax studio where their film is being filmed and among other things battle with a fellatio-obsessed security guard. Then, they walk onto the set of 'Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season'. This is by far one of the better moments in an otherwise morbid film and credit must be given to Smith for doing what I suggested - creating his own classic scenes. Unfortunately, this is an isolated case.

One of the rare good elements in this film is that Smith has no problem of mocking himself or those around him. From Gus van Sant (the director of Good Will Hunting) counting his cash on the set on the sequel, to the surprise comedic efforts of Affleck having a security code devised especially after his prostitute seeking scandals. Smith delivers some memorable moments, yet all these moments cannot save this film from pure insanity. Within a span of 90 minutes the audience is exposed to a numerous amount of unrealistic and ludicrous situations that Smith dismisses as realistic simply because it is a Kevin Smith film. Note: this is observed by the actors on screen turning towards the camera insinuating we are idiots paying for another Kevin Smith film.

I must give credit where credit is due though, Smith has delivered the most filthy, the most sexist, the most homophobic, vulgar film I have ever seen. Yet, it lacks a certain meaning. And the funny thing is, I have a feeling Smith intentionally did not create this film to have meaning.

The concept was good. Write a script that pays homage to Miramax films for financing his films, have a laugh at the expense of Smith's close friends Affleck and Damon. Include a ton of cameos ranging from George Carlin as a fellatio-obsessed hitchhiker to Carrie Fisher as a nun who has the 'Buddy Christ' on her dashboard (you have to be a Smith follower to catch on to this) to Mark Hamill tearing away at his Star Wars 15 minutes of fame character.

This film seems merely a film for the fans, that in my opinion; might turn off fans instead of creating more of a following. It saddens me to say this but as aforementioned, Smith seems to be falling victim to the studio powerhouses and tarnishing his once respectable career. If Smith wants to return to his 'old roots'; Kevin Smith fans know what he must do.

Click here to comment on this review or post your own thoughts.

Giancarlo De Lisi


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