A few years back, an unknown writer/director by the name of Kevin Smith financed his first film by selling his collection of Comic Books and maxing out all of his credit cards. The film was “Clerks” and it became the surprise hit of 1994 and took critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival.
Clerks told the story of a day in the life of a group of people in a small New Jersey town and introduced film audiences to Jay and Silent Bob. Jay (Jason Mewes), and Silent Bob(Kevin Smith), are two stoners who spend their days outside a convenience store dealing drugs, chasing women and dispensing wisdom. Their many motivators outside of drugs, woman, and money are the Star Wars films, heavy metal and comic books. The two characters became very popular with audiences and appeared in the other Kevin Smith films such as “Mallrats”, “Chasing Amy”, and “Dogma” often stealing the scenes they were in from the rest of the cast.
Their is a saying that for all things there is a season, and having just turned 30, Smith decided that it was time to move to other challenges in Hollywood and leave Jay and Silent Bob behind. Smith did however want to give the boys a grand sendoff and rounded up many of the cast members from his previous films for his latest effort, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”.
The film opens with Jay and Bob doing what they do best, hanging out in front of a store selling pot to the local kids. Jay does the talking as he sees himself as the brains behind the pair, and Bob only speaks on rare instances, and when he does, it is often something very profound that speaks of a wisdom that is well hidden by his lifestyle.
Jay and Bob go to visit their good friend Brodie (Jason Lee) who has retired from his talk show that he gained at the end of “Mallrats” to return home and run a comic store. It is here that Jay and Silent Bob learn that there is to be a movie made based on their alter egos Bluntman and Chronic. Thinking that they have a big payday coming to them, the boys head off to see Holden (Ben Affleck) who did a comic based on the two for many years, as Holden is the one who they believe is behind the film deal.
The boy’s dreams of riches are given a jolt when they learn that Holden sold the rights to his former partner, Banky (Jason Lee) and that if they want money they need to check with him. It is at this point that the two dolts first learn of the Internet. Holden shows them how the film is expected to do well, but that there are those on the Internet who think Jay and Silent Bob are stupid characters and are highly critical of them in online postings. Desperate to save their good names and thus avoid losing any action from the ladies, Jay and Silent Bob set off to Hollywood to stop the making of the film as shooting begins in just three days.
It is at this point that the movie becomes a road movie as many celebrity cameos pop up ranging from Carrie Fisher, to George Carlin. Before long, the boys are in the company of four lovely ladies who are heading to Denver to free test animals, Jay becomes smitten with one of the ladies, a stunner named Justice (Shannon Elizabeth). All is not as it seems as the girls are not what they seem and Jay and Silent Bob are soon on the run from the authorities and a crazed Wildlife Marshall (Will Ferrell).
The film is very bawdy as no bodily function is left untouched but the brutal honesty of the language is part of the films charm as this is how Jay and Silent Bob are, and they are themselves no matter what the circumstances. The supporting cast seems to be having a great time and the film and actors even poke fun at themselves and their past work. While not destined to win any awards for acting, directing, or story, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” sticks to the formula that made Clerks so much fun, recognizable characters, funny jokes and situations, and a light hearted attitude where nothing is taken to seriously and no subject is taboo.
Smith brilliantly included many of his characters from his past films in this movie as it brought the New Jersey series as it is often called to a good closure. We see that many of the characters no matter how small from past films are going on with their lives and while things may have changed for them, the people and friends from their past still hold a special place in their hearts. Life goes on, but those special people who were a part of ones life, still remain, even if they are no longer with you, they remain in your heart and thoughts. This is much like the casts of Smith’s films as while they may be gone after this film, it is unlikely that the viewers will forget them anytime soon. Smith says this is the last outing for Jay and Silent Bob, but the door may be left slightly open for a return of the two loveable losers someday.
4 stars out of 5