Movies for Breakfast JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK Review
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is back on Netflix, and I suggest checking it out.
The comic “Bluntman and Chronic” is based on real-life stoners Jay and Silent Bob, so when they get no profit from a big-screen adaptation, they set out to wreck the movie.
Back in 2001 Kevin Smith was on top of the world, having written and directed many cult classic movies up to that point already. His films such as Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma were all highly regarded, and still are to this day. After work completed on those movies he decided to give the characters present in each of those movies, Jay and Silent Bob, their own film. Which is how Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back came to be. Which turned out exactly how anyone would expect a Jay and Silent Bob movie to turn out at the time. While critically it is not one of Kevin Smiths best rated films, the fan base for Kevin Smith loves this movie and it is probably one of his most quoted movies outside of Clerks.
When talking to Brodie Bruce, the main character from Mallrats played by Jason Lee, Jay and Silent Bob find out there is a movie being made based on the comic based on them. Unaware of this, they decide to try and get their cut of the profits from the movie. They go to speak with Holden McNeil who along with Banky Edwards created the comic during the events of Chasing Amy. Holden reveals he sold his rights to the comic to Banky so he now owns 50% stake in the characters. They also find that due to the movie being made, people are now writing negative comments about them on the internet. Jay and Silent Bob then go on a hunt to track down Banky in Hollywood so they can prevent the movie from being made in order to save their names. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a culmination of the events of every Kevin Smith production up to that point that took place in the View Askewniverse. The View Askewniverse is the name given to all the movies Kevin Smith writes and directs, they all take place in the same universe. One of the biggest aspects of comedy that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back uses is to break the 4th wall in every way possible. It is almost masterfully done how self referential this movie is. Nearly every couple minutes there is a callback being made to a previous film in the View Askewniverse.
In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back there are multiple people who play multiple characters, and even some play themselves as actors in the world of Jay and Silent Bob. Ben Affleck for example plays his character of Holden McNeil from Chasing Amy. Later in the film though he later plays himself in the process of filming a new movie, and within that movie he is playing his character Chuckie Sullivan from Good Will Hunting. On top of this as Holden McNeil he talks about himself in the third person, mentioning how Ben Affleck has seen better days in other films. Those aren’t even all the jokes around Ben Affleck, and him playing the character from Chasing Amy is only the start of where the references of other movies comes from. There are also references to movies outside of the Jay and Silent Bob universe as well, one of the most prominent and memorable being the Scooby Doo reference. While some of these references are more apparent than others, some will go over the heads of even avid Kevin Smith fans. Like Jay and Silent Bob stealing an orangutan named Suzanne like they were seen with at the end of the film Mall Rats during the end credits.
Jay and Silent Bob overall is a comedy, and as such it does not even take itself seriously. Going as far as to mock the movie during the movie, like making reference to the movie based on Jay and Silent Bob within the movie they are trying to stop and commenting on who would want to see that, then having the characters look directly at the camera into the audience of this movie. This is the kind of humor you need to expect when watching this film, it won’t be for everyone. Even as a fan of Kevin Smith films not every joke might land, but when they do they are perfect. The movie doesn’t have much of a flow either, with Jay and Silent Bob being easily sidetracked. They continually divert form the main plot for quick side stories. Given the plot of the movie though, and the characters within it this makes sense. It does cause the film overall to have these bumps where the plot completely stops at, before picking up again. If you aren’t paying full attention to the movie and look away, by the time you look back it could seem like you are watching an entirely different movie.There really isn’t any character development within the movie, or any big effects. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is just a journey from one joke to the next, and its simplicity in that fact is welcome. There are some scenes that are pretty fun to watch, and there was a lot of care put into making this movie as fun as possible. It acts as a good way to close out the View Askewniverse, up until Clerks II released five years later.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a fun movie. Coming from the early days of Kevin Smith, the movie pokes fun at everything including himself, while making every chance it can to reference the adventures Jay and Silent Bob have gone through in his previous movies. While the movie won’t be for everyone, and even avid fans might not get every joke and reference, it is a good comedy that most people should be able to find some enjoyment in. The disjointed story and lack of character development can easily be forgiven since this movie wasn’t aiming to break any records in either of those two departments. Overall, if you have a chance to watch this movie I highly recommend checking it out, and I can’t wait for the sequel Jay and Silent Bob Reboot comes out in the near future.