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JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK

SYNOPSIS:
New Jersey stoner Jay (Jason Mewes) and his taciturn sidekick Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) are on a mission to save their reputations. They discover that their old friend Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) has gone to Hollywood to produce a film based on a comic book about their alter egos, Bluntman and Chronic. Determined to stop the film being made the duo make it to LA, encountering a bizzare series of characters and incidents along the way.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
Fans of New Jersey pothead Jay and his mute sidekick Kevin should make the most of this cheerfully incorrect comedy - it's allegedly their farewell to the big screen. The duo have worked well in small doses in Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma but the 104 minute running time is too much of a stretch for all but the most ardent of supporters. When will filmmakers learn that 85-95 minutes is the ideal duration for comedies? Check the length of almost every Woody Allen and John Waters film for proof that the best laugh-getters arrive in compact packages. Although this doesn't work as a whole it certainly has its highlights as these goofballs stumble their way to LA. There's no subtlety here but that's the whole point as the champions of Gen-X, pop culture comedy meet a geriatric hitchhiker (George Carlin) with a bold method of ensuring a ride, a gang of foxy girl thieves and finally Mark Hamill on the Bluntman and Chronic set, playing a character called Cock-Knocker. Hamill's just one of the guest star gallery - Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Gus Van Sant, Shannen Doherty and James Van Der Beek included - who give this film its best moments. Even Miramax bosses Bob and Harvey Weinstein get in on the act by letting Smith pepper his script with stinging attacks on the producers of his own film. Smith doesn't just bite the hand that feeds, he chews it off and spits it out in the gutter. Cobbled together in a loose bunch of sketches, Jay and Silent Bob outstay their welcome but this last hurrah (yeah, sure) has enough going for it (including Jason Mewes' almost hypnotic monotone delivery of indefensibly crude and sexist dialogue) to make the trip worthwhile.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A promising concept and an ambition to pack it all into this one final outing for Jay and Silent Bob: but the end result is so high on the silly stakes it doesn’t register anywhere else. There are chuckles throughout, and some of the grossest humour is even funny. Much of it isn’t. There’s simply too much of it (gross) and to little avail. The madcap stuff is often overlong and banal, and the self-referential material, while amusing enough, fails to ignite the film. Maybe there should be more of that…Still peddling his undergraduate sensibilities (complete with giant fart jokes that are not so much jokes as just farts) Kevin Smith has to be thanked for two things: 1) Chasing Amy, and 2) his promise that this is the last of the J & SB movies.

Review by Louise Keller:
Filled with foul language, in-jokes and stoopid (duh) slapstick humour, Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back is a disappointing final chapter from Kevin Smith, whose Chasing Amy remains by far his best project. While it is true that I am probably not the film's intended target market, the film relies on fart jokes and language that is intended to shock: I frankly don't think that repetition of four letter words and bare bums is so hilarious. But maybe I'm missing something. There are some cute ideas, and Jay and poor ol' Silent Bob could have chalked up a cult following – in the same way that Mike Myers whipped up interest in his Austin Powers character. But good ol' Austin did have a gimmick, while Jay and Bob's one-joke premise eventually runs very dry. All the characters are one dimensional and bland, making it more comic book-like than Smith perhaps intended. It's rather fun to meet the Chasing Amy crowd again, and the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon jokes work well – until they become heavy handed and overdone. The film is at its best when we venture to Miramax Studios, and I really laughed when our anti-heroes ran head first into a set that looked like a road. That’s funny. In fact, there are some well-executed gags at the Studios that would have been even funnier with a lighter touch. It's a blast to meet Carrie Fisher, Gus Van Sant, Chris Rock, Mark Hamill, Shannen Doherty, James Van Der Beek and Jason Biggs in unexpected cameos, and teens looking for a mindless night out may guffaw and splutter some. But Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back is a self-indulgent trip for Smith; pity, there's a fun movie in there dying to come out.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 1

JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (MA)
(US)

CAST: Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Shannen Doherty, Renée Humphrey, Ben Affleck, James Van Der Beek, Jason Biggs, Matt Damon, Chris Rock, Joey Lauren Adams, Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Jason Lee

DIRECTOR: Kevin Smith

PRODUCER: Scott Mosier, Laura Greenlee

SCRIPT: Kevin Smith

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jamie Anderson

EDITOR: Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith

MUSIC: James L. Venable

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert ‘Ratface’ Holtzman

RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 24, 2002

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: June 26, 2002







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