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Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A-
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for strong language and sexual references)

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Based on the characters by: Kevin Smith
Produced by: Scott Mosier
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Shannon Elizabeth, Will Ferrell, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee
Studio: Dimension Films

Throughout history, there have been background characters that have been enjoyed by audiences (sometimes more than the main characters). Timon & Pumbaa and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are prime examples of background characters in popular works that were later given their own adventure. Now, everyone's favourite drug dealers Jay & Silent Bob have their own film. The two were born in Kevin Smith's cheaply made (but brilliant nonetheless) Clerks and continued to appear in his next films Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma. As much as Randal Graves, Brodie Bruce and Alyssa Jones are great characters in the View Askewniverse, the heart of the "five picture" trilogy are Jay & Silent Bob. Their first lead parts result in a very funny comedy adventure.

After Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) puts a restraining order on Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), they now have no place to go. When Mallrats' Brodie (Jason Lee) tells them that a comic book based on them is being made into a feature film by Miramax, they realise that they haven't been paid likeness rights. They meet with the co-creator of the comic, Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) who introduces them to the Internet where the two find out that they are being called names which I will not print here, because this is a family website. So Jay and Silent Bob decide to go to Hollywood and stop the picture from being made. In the meantime, Jay falls in love with a jewel thief (Shannon Elizabeth) and the two get chased around by a wildlife marshall (Will Ferrell).

Kevin Smith has gone a long way from Clerks and is now able to make celebrities make fun of themselves which is done wonderfully here. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are seen shooting Good Will Hunting 2 with Gus Van Sant counting his money off set and Jason Biggs complains about that infamous pie giving him his new found reputation. Chris Rock is also very funny playing a director who is upset that everyone else on set is white. All these moments are brilliant pieces of comedy, but the highlight is the performance by Jason Mewes. He gives a certain heart to Jay that make us care about the character, while we're laughing at him. Kevin Smith's Chaplinesque work as Silent Bob is also impressive to watch as his face expresses more than words ever will (although, when he does speak, it's really special). It should be noted that prior viewing of the other View Askewniverse films are required for you to understand most of the jokes. Characters in previous films return and Smith fans will smile at their appearances. Most notable is Jason Lee who plays both his characters from Mallrats and Chasing Amy. So, I suggest switching off your political correctness button and enjoying the hilarity of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Jay and Silent Bob riding around Miramax Studios.
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