Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)A review by Shlomoh Sherman
November 20, 2016
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Stars: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck
Plot Summary: The comic book 'Bluntman and Chronic' is based on real-life stoners Jay and Silent Bob; so when they get no profit from a big-screen adaptation they set out to wreck the movie.
Plot Keywords: jay and silent bob - police - new jersey - internet - orangutan
Tagline: Scooping the Monkey
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Rated R for nonstop crude and sexual humor, pervasive strong language, and drug content
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards
Release Date: August 24, 2001 (USA)
Filming Locations: Santa Clarita, California, USA
Budget: $22,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $11,018,543 (USA) (August 24, 2001)
Gross: $30,059,386 (USA) (October 5, 2001)
Production Co: Dimension Films, View Askew Productions, Miramax
Runtime: 104 min
The basic story, ignoring a detailed account of the subplots, is when Jay and Silent Bob learn from their friend Brodie [he of MALLRATS fame] that Miramax Pictures is producing a movie based on their lives without either consulting or compensating them, Jay and Bob head out to Hollywood to lay a claim on the money they rightly believe they deserve. On the way, they have encounters with Holden McNeil [of CHASING AMY fame], a hitchhiking George Carlin, a group of beautiful jewel thieves, an incompetent wildlife marshal, and an orangutan named Suzanne.
The movie seems geared to a teen age audience and is appropriately juvenile, and as in the case of Mallrats, the acting is bad. Perhaps the writer and director, Kevin Smith, intended it so. And although I am the last person in the world to support the language Gestapo, there are just too many F-bombs dropped by Jason Mewes as well as others in the cast. The website at IMDB.COM informs us that the word "fuck" is used 248 times.
Smith has packed the movie with many stars including: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku [of THE DOLL HOUSE fame], Will Ferrell, Judd Nelson, George Carlin,Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill [fans report that Kevin Smith is a Star Wars fanatic and here Silent Bob gets to carry on a lightsaber duel with Hamill], and Alanis Morrissette, just to mention a few; and of course the ever present Brian O'Halloran [introduced in Clerks as Dante Hicks]. Do I need to repeat how tired I am of seeing Affleck and Damon or do my reviews of CHASING AMY, DOGMA, and MALLRATS sufficiently make the point? But here, they may be more essential since Kevin is obviously a fan of GOOD WILL HUNTING, and includes many clever references to it.
OK, on the positive side. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is filled with those incredible slapstick routines for which Kevin is well-known. And some of them are outrageous. And in spite of Jay's use of profanity, the hilarious scenes between him and Silent Bob, wherein Jay often makes brutal but funny comments about life and love always are the highlights of any Jay and Bob film that Kevin makes.
In his own October, 2001 review, JehuDVD (JasonCUPRess@hotmail.com) writes: "Whether or not you enjoy `Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back' is going to depend a lot on whether or not you enjoy director Kevin Smith. I, for one, think the guy is a genius."
In my own estimation, it's not so much whether or not you enjoy Kevin Smith's movies that is the point but rather whether or not you are familiar with them. All the five Smith movies which I have seen [CLERKS, DOGMA, CHASING AMY, MALLRATS,and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK] employ characters and situations from each movie that preceded the current one. I imagine that is true of the Kevin Smith movies which I have not yet seen as well, as JehuDVD points out; they are parts of "a world created by the director himself, in the sense that all are interconnected by characters, plot points, and subtle references. The one constant, though, is the entity known as Jay and Silent Bob, a pair of pot dealers who have more or less spent their entire lives standing in front of the Quik-Stop convenience store. Jay (Jason Mewes) is the long-haired guy we all knew in high school, his endless stream of four-letter epithets almost endearing because the goofy guy just doesn't know any better. Silent Bob (played by director Kevin Smith), Jay's self-described `hetero life-mate' stands by without speaking a word and provides some sort of moral counterpoint for the duo."
Jehu also compares it to "satire at it's finest, reminiscent of such self-deprecating masterpieces as `Pee-Wee's Big Adventure' and `Blazing Saddles.'" In a way, I can agree with that assessment. His final comment says it all: "Smith loves his fans, and this film was created for the loyal." After a while, even the fart jokes make you laugh against your will!
KUDOS to Eliza Dushku who I first saw in the award winner TV series, THE DOLL HOUSE. She is as beautiful and athletically gifted as ever.
I'll be interested in hearing from Kevin's fans who read this review.
Did You Know?
Kevin Smith's fan base is so loyal that during the theatrical run of Scary Movie 2 (2001), many people bought tickets for the film simply to see the trailer for "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back". After the trailer ran, many movie-goers left the theater.
Jay is wearing a "Berserker" T-shirt with the image of Olaf, the Russian metalhead from Clerks (1994). "Berserker" was the song Olaf was singing.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon mention that one of the reasons to do a film is because they owe the director a favor. It was writer/director Kevin Smith who brought the script of Good Will Hunting (1997) to Miramax.
The voice of Scooby-Doo scene is provided by Mark Hamill.
Baby Silent Bob is played by Harley Quinn Smith, daughter of director Kevin Smith.
Because Ben Affleck reprised his role as Holden from Chasing Amy (1997), Kevin Smith had originally wanted to cast different actors to play Affleck and Matt Damon in the Good Will Hunting (1997) spoof. Smith first considered casting Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, then Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, before finally deciding to cast Affleck and Damon as themselves.
Heather Graham was originally offered Shannon Elizabeth's role, but she turned it down because she couldn't figure out why her character would fall in love with Jay.
This is the fifth film in Kevin Smith's intricately interconnected View Askewniverse series (the first four being Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999)). The movies are all linked by characters, themes and events and each contains numerous references to the others. The sixth part of the series would be Clerks II (2006).
This was the first film that both Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Saga) had appeared in together since Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). Apparently neither of them knew the other was in the film until a few weeks after shooting had been completed.
The word "fuck" is used 248 times.
The high amount of profanity caused some challenges for those hired to translate the film into other languages. In the DVD release, the word "merde" (which means "shit") is substituted for "fuck" in the French language soundtrack.
Shannon Elizabeth, (Justice) came up with the idea for her character to wear glasses because she said that "Justice is blind".
David Duchovny was offered a small role, but eventually had to turn it down due to his commitment to The X-Files (1993).
Salma Hayek was originally going to reprise her role as Serendipity the muse from Dogma (1999), working on the Miramax lot. However due to scheduling conflicts she had to drop out. There is a painting of her at the start of the Scream 3 (2000) spoof instead.
Originally, Kevin Smith wanted Quentin Tarantino to appear in the film as himself as the director of "Bluntman and Chronic Strike Back" in one of the earlier drafts of the script. Then-current Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein was to appear as himself too.
Kevin Smith was originally highly reluctant to do a Jay and Silent Bob solo film, believing that the characters couldn't carry a film. Positive reaction to Jay and Silent Bob's cameo in Scream 3 (2000) changed his mind.
According to Kevin Smith, the film was intended as a controversy-free comedy in response to his previous film, the controversy-plagued Dogma (1999). He did not succeed, having raised the ire of gay rights activists over its gay jokes. Smith, in his DVD commentary, denies that his humor was intended as insulting.
The film originally received an NC-17 rating. Numerous scenes had to be cut down for an R, including footage of George Carlin and Jay and Silent Bob's arrival to Hollywood.
Mark Hamill plays Bluntman & Chronics villain, Cockknocker. Bluntman & Chronic is a reference to Batman & Robin, especially when Cockknocker calls Bluntman, Hemp Knight (a play on Dark Knight). Mark Hamill provided the voice of Batman's villain The Joker in the animated television series.
At an estimated $22 million, this is the most expensive of the View Askew films with Clerks (1994) obviously being the least expensive.
The phrase "Fuck Jay and Silent Bob. Fuck them up their stupid asses" became so popular that it was used in just about every talkback on Ain't It Cool News (Such as "Fuck 'Osama bin Laden'. Fuck him up his stupid ass.")
Tracy Morgan's drug dealer character was originally unnamed. Morgan came up with the character's name - Pumpkin Escobar - the day they filmed the scene. Morgan also came up with the idea of Escobar's sidekick Scott, reasoning that if his character was the West Coast Jay, he should have a West Coast Silent Bob.
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Missy), one of the lesbian jewel thieves, is Kevin Smith's real-life wife, making her film debut. Several scenes of her making out with Ali Larter (Chrissy) were cut for time, not due to their content.
Cast members Seann William Scott, Jason Biggs and Shannon Elizabeth were filming this movie around the same time as American Pie 2 (2001).
The movie features two actors who would later potray Batman: Diedrich Bader (Batman: the Brave and the Bold) and Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Numerous references to Jaws
References to Chasing Amy and and Dogma.
Silent Bob speaks a total of 102 words.
Alanis Morissette's cameo marks one of the few times in movie history where an actress/actor appears for the first time in the movie, after being listed in the end credits.
Discuss Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) on the IMDb message boards at On IMDB
Read about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back on the Internet Movie Data Base at On IMDB
Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Mewes ... Jay
Kevin Smith ... Silent Bob
Ben Affleck ... Holden McNeil and himself
Jeff Anderson ... Randal Graves
Brian O'Halloran ... Dante Hicks
Shannon Elizabeth ... Justice
Eliza Dushku ... Sissy
Ali Larter ... Chrissy
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith ... Missy (as Jennifer Schwalbach)
Will Ferrell ... Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly
Jason Lee ... Brodie Bruce / Banky Edwards
Judd Nelson ... Sheriff
George Carlin ... Hitchhiker
Carrie Fisher ... Nun
Seann William Scott ... Brent