Published Sep 01, 2001It seems somehow appropriate that Kevin Smith's final instalment of his New Jersey Chronicles is paradoxically both his best and worst work, quite often at the same time. His best work by virtue of the fact that "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" is a seriously funny movie - we're talking jaded movie critics laughing out loud countless times during an advance screening funny . (Grumpy bastards who've traded life's free time for celluloid are usually very, very bitter.) It's Smith's worst work because "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" lacks anything other than a cursory plot whose sole purpose is the set up and the payoff (much like Smith's writing in this movie), with nothing in between for continuity save Smith going for laughs, as outrageously and as vulgarly as possible. Gone is any semblance to Smith's previous message movies, even if those messages were sometimes muddled and flawed in their delivery, and Smith's greatest strength, his ability to write witty, intelligent and utterly believable, if overly complex, dialogue is lacking whatsoever.
Instead, Smith has decided that if you have to go, go with a smile, inserting endless jokes and seeing how far he can push his limits while still getting laughs (granted, pretty damn far). The impetus for this excuse to exclusively feature two of Smith's most beloved characters who couldn't carry a normal Smith movie (a fact Smith readily acknowledges when he has a number of characters in the movie state "who'd watch a Jay and Silent Bob movie?") is that Jay and Silent Bob essentially find out that a movie studio has bought the rights to the Bluntman and Chronic comic ("Chasing Amy") and are intent on making a movie without compensating either of them.
Making matters worse is the fact that everyone on the internet is now talking smack about Jay and Silent Bob and how the movie will suck, spurring the two to travel to Hollywood and thwart production on the movie in order to save their good names. Which is pretty much it, there's also some stuff about an international gang of female jewel thieves posing as animal rights activists and a hapless wildlife officer but that's really besides the point, as Jay and Silent Bob are the focus and means of Smith's comic revenge. Smith attacks and parodies everything while going for giggles, his movies, countless other movies (the funniest being the take on "Good Will Hunting," entitled "Good Will Hunting Two: Hunting Season"), his actors (everyone gets a cameo), the internet and kids who are god with a keyboard in front of them, Hollywood, numerous pop culture and television celebrities and most of all, himself.
However, while not the final nail in the coffin of the New Jersey Chronicles that long-time fans may have expected, or wanted, Smith has instead decided to throw a party, Hollywood-style, dick and fart jokes provided at the door, free of charge, and what the hell, might as well enjoy it, because it sure is an entertaining party.