Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Directed by Kevin Smith
Starring Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Shannon Elizabeth, Will Ferrel, Deidrich Bader, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Mark Hamil, and many cool cameos and guest appearances.
I remember when I became a Kevin Smith fan. It was in my freshman year, and I was just hanging out in the floor lounge watching TV on a Friday night. Someone and his girlfriend came in, and they wanted to watch this movie they had rented: Mallrats. I found it to be the funniest movie I had ever seen. Since I had just discovered the Internet, I began using it to seek out more on the film’s director, Kevin Smith. His first film was Clerks. The name was familiar because Siskel & Ebert were constantly raving about it. I found out that his next project was called Chasing Amy, about a man who falls in love with a lesbian. I rented Clerks, and, since there were no art house theaters in Camrose, I had to wait over a year for Chasing Amy to come out on video. I followed the development of Dogma, but managed to miss its theatrical run. And finally, with eager anticipation, I was ready to finally see Smith’s “View Askewniverse” on the big screen.
Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith) are hanging out in front of the Quick Stop as usual. But, those intrepid clerks Randal and Dante finally have enough of their antics and get a restraining order, keeping them away from the Quick Stop. As they unload their woes on their former fellow mallrat Brodie, they learn that their comic alter-egos, Bluntman and Chronic, are getting their own movie. So, they go to comic artist Holden McNeil to try to and get their share of the royalties. Holden reveals that he no longer has any involvement with Bluntman and Chronic, having sold out his half to his former partner Banky. But, Holden introduces Jay and Silent Bob to the Internet as they try to find out the latest scoop on the movie. At one movie gossip site, they find a whole bunch of people saying how much they hate Bluntman and Chronic and their “secret identities” of Jay and Silent Bob. Disturbed at how their good names are being dragged through the mud, the real Jay and Silent Bob decide to sabotage the movie so people will stop saying bad things about them on the Internet. So, the road trip from New Jersey to Hollywood begins! Along the way, they run afoul of an all-girl gang of thieves, liberate an orangutang from an animal research lab, get pursued by a somewhat slow-witted wildlife marshal, and Jay finds true love with woman named Justice. Will Jay and Silent Bob stop the Bluntman and Chronic movie? Will Jay and Justice live happily ever after? Will Silent Bob speak?
I dare say that this is the funniest movie of the year. But, it comes with a condition. To get a lot of the jokes, it really helps to be a Kevin Smith fan. Just about every character from a Smith movie makes an appearance, and there are tons of subtle references to previous Smith films. But, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty for the non-Smith fans to laugh at, as Smith goes about ripping on Batman, Scooby-Doo, Charlie’s Angels, The Matrix and even The Fugitive. Oh, and there are the Star Wars jokes, which has become a Smith trademark. Mewes is really enjoyable as Jay, as everyone’s favorite drug dealer finally shows us his soul. Shannon Elizabeth is wonderfully sweet and innocent and Justice, Jay’s true love. As many a critic has pointed out, this isn’t the poignant, thoughtful, comedy-drama of Chasing Amy. It’s just one huge movie by geeks for geeks. And since I am a geek, and a Smith fan, I found that it just rocked.
(And on a side note, I don’t know what was cooler: seeing Mark Hamil meet the same fate that he did in Empire Strikes Back, or seeing Mark Hamil actually deliver a few lines in his Joker voice from Batman: the Animated Series)