Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; Comedy, USA, 2001; D: Kevin Smith, S: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Shannon Elizabeth, Ben Affleck, Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran, Chris Rock, Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, Will Ferrell, Jason Lee, Seann William Scott, Carrie Fisher, Jon Stewart, Mark Hamill

New Jersey is the birthplace of profane lads Jay and Silent Bob who sells drugs in front of a store. One day they discover that the Miramax studio plans to adapt the comic book "Bluntman and Chronic", inspired by them, for the big screen without paying them for the rights. The comic book author Holden sold all his rights to pal Blanky, so Jay and Bob go to visit him. On their journey they are picked up in a van by the secretive Justice and her three friends. They set them up to kidnap an orangutan in order to preoccupy the police while they can safely steal some jewels. Jay, Bob and orangutan make a mess in Hollywood but get their money for their rights. Justice admits everything to the police and goes to jail.

Ever since his directorial debut in '94, director Kevin Smith always brought back his characters of Jay and Silent Bob (played by Mewes and himself) as side charachters in every film, but when he made a movie about them in the leading roles, he wasn't in top notch shape. Jay and Silent Bob are some sort of a perverted versions of Laurel and Hardy, but they have charm and humor: in the exposition we see them as babies listening to the swearing of their mothers so in the next frame we see them as grown up hillbillies - in front of the store run by Dante and Randal (O'Halloran and Anderson reprising their roles from Smith's first film). There are a few neat ironic gags that grace the screen, like when Holden (Ben Affleck) admits: "That Ben Affleck is a good actor, but his film "Good Will Hunting" isn't so great" (the irony is even bigger when having in mind that he won an Oscar for it). But the story is too mainstream and has too much banal elements - from the subplot where the duo meets four criminal girls up to the fact that they have to watch out for an orangutan. Only towards the end does the movie bring up a few really great gags, while a lot of actors surprisingly went along the gag and played small parts.


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