Thursday, May 02, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) ***

R, 104 min.
Director/Writer: Kevin Smith
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jeff Anderson, Brian Christopher O’Halloran, Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, Jennifer Schwalbach, Will Ferrell, Jason Lee, Judd Nelson, George Carlin, Carrie Fisher, Seann William Scott, John  Stewart, Jules Asner, Steve Kmetko, Tracy Morgan, Gus Van Sant, Chris Rock, Jamie Kennedy, Wes Craven, Shannen Doherty, Mark Hamill, Diedrich Bader, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Matt Damon

“Snoochie Boochies” — Jay.

What does that mean? Who cares? I don’t know, but this movie is still fun to me. Of all of Kevin Smith’s films… Scratch that. Of all of the films Smith has written (that disavows “Cop Out”) “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” is probably the silliest, and in many ways, his most mainstream. The undervalued “Jersey Girl” is fairly mainstream as well, but in a different way. It’s the one movie in Smith’s cannon that doesn’t seem to involve some obscure issue that Smith wants to explore. It just exists for the sake of having a movie where Jay and Silent Bob, the two characters who work in the background of most of his movies, are the stars.

That aside, it also references every movie Smith had made at that point. Actors from “Clerks”, “Mallrats”, “Chasing Amy”, and “Dogma” all show up to tip their proverbial hats to the director, who started many of them on their film careers and helped to resurrect a few. It’s hard to imagine when watching Ben Affleck make fun of himself and the characters he played for Smith that he would one day win an Academy Award for one of the more deserving pictures to ever take home the big prize.

But aside from the many celebrity cameos to be found in this movie, what does it offer beyond some fart, penis and stoner jokes? Frankly, not much, but that’s not really a bad thing. We all need stupid comedies to give us a break from the “Argo” fare sometimes. Smith actually makes an intelligent stupid movie, because the characters don’t know they’re idiots, but the script does. Many of the laughs actually require thought in order to work, while there are plenty of mindless laughs in the mix to keep those of us who don’t like to think about our comedy laughing obliviously. It’s a win-win for everyone.

WARNING! This clip contains foul language; but more than 10 years down the line, its statements about the Internet are still astonishingly accurate.

No comments: