Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/11/2001

Four out of five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Director Kevin Smith became the hit of the independent film circuit with his debut film, Clerks in 1994. He swiftly followed that up with MallRats and Chasing Amy and the three films together are often referred to as his ‘New Jersey trilogy’.

Now, for his fifth film (after the disappointing Dogma), Smith has brought his two best supporting characters -Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith), who’ve featured in each of his movies to date –to the fore, for what he promises is one last time…

The plot is so slap-dash that it's hard to summarize properly, though it actually sticks fairly close to Smith’s ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ comic book.

Basically it's a road movie, in which Jay and Silent Bob travel to Hollywood in order to trash a movie that’s being made about their comic-book alter egos, Bluntman & Chronic, so that "people will stop talking shit about us on the internet".

Along the way, the film crams in some hilarious cameos (including Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher, Jason "I’m the pie-shagger" Biggs and James Van Der Beek) and also features everyone from the previous movies (with the exception of MallRats’ Jeremy London, and let's face it, who cares about him?).

This is where, if you’re not VERY familiar with Smith’s other films, then things could get confusing, as the excellent Jason Lee plays both his MallRats character AND his Chasing Amy character and Ben Affleck plays both his Chasing Amy character and himself.

Confused? Don’t worry. The important thing is that a) it’s very funny, and b) it features the tantalising trio of Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy), Ali Larter (Legally Blonde) and Shannon Elizabeth in leather catsuits… (American Pie 1 & 2)

It’s true that there are perhaps just a few too many dick, fart and sex jokes, and a lot of them fall flat, but the gags come so thick and fast that you really won’t mind that much.

The film is clearly aware that it's as stupid as all hell - there are lots of 'characters-looking-at-the-audience’ moments that -for once- actually work. ("A movie about us? What stupid fucker would pay to see that ?", etc). Also, the whole bit about people ‘reviewing’ the movie on the internet allows Smith to include and counter many of the film's inevitable criticisms in an extremely amusing way.

Basically, there’s an awful lot to enjoy here, even if you’re not a hardcore Smith fan. Fair play to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, too, as they send themselves up brilliantly, obviously aware of people’s negative criticisms of them – their scenes during ‘Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season’ are a definite highlight.

In short, this is something of a guilty pleasure, and a definite treat for Smith fans (they’ll be the ones laughing at the jokes you don’t get).

Yes it’s stupid, yes it’s puerile, yes it’s riddled with in-jokes, but it’s also very funny and it’s hard not to warm to a film that has a Scooby Doo fantasy sequence. For maximum enjoyment, watch Clerks, MallRats and Chasing Amy beforehand, but this is still worth seeing. Recommended.

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Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (18)
Be the first to review Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back...
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03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

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05 A Most Violent Year (15)

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Content updated: 25/09/2018 06:50

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