Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
What a weird fucking movie this is. There is something to be said about all of Kevin Smiths Askew movies before this, and that is their strong themes and characters, as well as stories grounded in some kind of realistic logic and problems. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back says fuck all of that and just goes balls to the wall crazy.
Jay and Silent Bob have been side-characters for the most part, not having a prominent role in any movie until Dogma, even then they weren't the leads. Back in Chasing Amy, you find out Jay and Silent Bob had a deal with two comic book creators to use their Likeness and names for a comic called 'Bluntman and Chronic'. Now we learn, at the same time as Jay and Silent Bob, that there is a movie being made. At first, the logical thing would be to think they deserve some portion of the money made from the movie due to likeness rights, but you would be wrong.
See, people on the internet are talking shit about the Jay and Silent Bob of the movie, and Jay and Silent bod in real life take in personally. So they decide to go from Jersey to Hollywood to stop the movie from being made to stop people from talking bad about them on the internet.
There are a few things you need to realize about this movie, the first being that about seventy percent of the humor is all callbacks and references to his previous Askew movies and meta-jokes about the industry and people actors involved in the movie. If you did not watch the previous movies, there are so many jokes that are going to go right over your head. Originally envisioned as a send-off to this particular movie universe (Though he did end up doing more Askew movies) it has a cameo from pretty much every actor who has been in one of these movies before.
That isn't to say that is all the movie has to offer in terms of jokes, the premise itself stands on its own pretty well, and there are so many absurd things that happen. They get involved with an international group of jewel thieves, they steal a monkey, they have a force battle with Mark Hamill, and none of this sounds like it belongs in the same movie together, does it?
Here is where we start to get to the other thing about this movie, and that is as a movie it's not really.... good. And that's not a bad thing. Yes, the internet comments are kind of cruel and what you would expect to see on the internet (Yes, even back in 2001), but at the same time they are kind of right about the very idea of a Jay and Silent Bob movie. These are basically joke side characters with a very small range of jokes that they make. So basically you end up with a movie that the creator himself is acknowledging is kind of a bad idea, but says fuck it anyway and just goes all out to make the goofiest thing he possibly could while paying homage to all his previous works. And there is something so wonderfully sincere about this movie because of that.
The movie does have some legit points to it though, like how we see Jay finally starting to become a real character. It's so odd that this is a slow build throughout five movies. At first, he's just kind of a joke in Clerics where you see him as this goofy stoner, then came Mallrats where that still held, but we got to see him in action as him and Silent Bob tried to sabotage a game-show at the mall as well as see how he spends his time when not selling weed. Chasing Amy he was just kind of a Cameo as well, but then Dogma came around. While his personality was pretty much identical, we see Jay step up a few times to get things done (The simple plan of going to the Cardinal of the Church directly, firing off the machine gun at Bartleby to save everyone), and now we see him grow and change throughout this film. Seven years since his film debut and he finally feels like an actual character, but the very nature of these movies makes it feel like it kind of works.
There comes a point where I can't say much more since I'd just be spoiling jokes and gags since that's almost all this movie is. The main narrative is insane and terrible (Meant in the best way possible), though Jay and his Love Story works wonderfully. The jokes range from utterly ridiculous and hilarious to fairly clever at times, either way, it's great from beginning to end. Though once again, so many of them are such meta jokes that it's really hard to say this movie is for everyone, it is not. Yet somehow this movie looks to like it has so much larger a budget than any of the others, it's insane.
Every part of me wants to say Dogma is the best movie from Kevin Smith, and in a lot of ways it is. But I can't help it, Jay and Silent Bob are my favorite. It's just so absurd, so full of love and fun, it just makes me happy beginning to end. So long as you go in having seen the previous films, give it a watch.