RON WELLS AND KEVIN SMITH STRIKE BACK – AT EACH OTHER! (Episode V)

EPISODE V: THE REVIEW ^ JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK ^ In a bid to escape the arrested-development that has typified his, uh, canon of work (damn, watching too much “Inside the Actor’s Studio” again), filmmaker Kevin Smith has now produced this, his farewell kiss to his muses and alter-ego. That of course would be the aging, drug-dealing man-child Jay (Jason Mewes) and his co-dependent, drug-dealing gay lover, Silent Bob (guess who). Perhaps only boring, pretentious drivel populates the director’s future, but at least he’ll have the memories. …and if all the kind bud destroyed that, then at least he’s got the action figures.
Anywho, plenty of other graduates of Smith’s “Askewniverse” are also on hand to pay their respects and/or grab a quick paycheck. Among those are the creators of Jay and Silent Bob’s comic book alter-egos, “Bluntman and Chronic” (from Chasing Amy). As we are about to learn, comic books really can change your life. Once jarred from their simple existence by a pesky restraining order, our boys learn a pair of troubling facts: First, a movie is about to be made from their four-color doppelgangers. Second, their barely acknowledged public personas in said comics have led to rampant cheap shots against them on something called the “Internet.” Miraculously connecting the two, our altered heroes realize that a movie will only make them look like even bigger asses than they really are. The film has to be stopped. Somebody will have to pay. This time, it’s PERSONAL!
Basically we have here a gross-out road comedy that takes our resin-clogged heroes from the exotic confines of their native New Jersey to the mean streets of tinseltown. As much a metaphorical journey through all of their previous films, the diehard Smith fans will feel equally rewarded by the onslaught of guest stars from “Saturday Night Live”, American Pie , the WB, and (dear God) even Star Wars. There’s even little parodies of Planet of the Apes and “Scooby-Doo” thrown in. I’m sure if you liked more than one of Kevin’s other efforts you’ll dig this one, but… what did I think of it?
(Insert sound of crickets chirping)
Eh, I liked it. It was damn funny. To make up for old times, I’ll even give it four stars. Maybe even five if you’re completely toasted. What do you want, some meditation on the human condition? I laughed, my wife laughed, and the kids in the audience all thought it was funny.
Did I feel at any time the movie was somehow directed at me and/or the grievances the director had with me? Most definitely. It’s not like I take this stuff personally. I’ve got a wife, friends, and one or two monkeys on my back. I haven’t got any time to worry about what every filmmaker thinks of me (though I admit to once making an ass out of myself to Wes Craven once while extremely drunk). If my little rants provide words of encouragement or influence people to see good films they might have missed, good. If my other little rants force somebody else to do better work either because or in spite of me, even better.
…ANY FINAL WORDS? ^ Kevin, if you’re reading this (and you will), you’ll remember that I was none too fond of either Chasing Amy or Dogma. I’ve come to understand you were none too fond of my comments on either movie. Maybe you’ll like what I’ve had to say about your latest effort, maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you’ve been able to channel your anger and bitterness toward me into producing a superior work. Having acknowledged that, the only words I have left to say to you are, “YOU’RE WELCOME!”
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Posted on August 19, 2001 in Features by
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