Directed By: Kevin Smith
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck
Tag line: "Hollywood Had it Coming"
Trivia: Shannon Elizabeth originally read for a minor role but so impressed director Kevin Smith that he decided to cast her in the lead
After being relegated to the status of minor characters in Kevin Smith’s first four films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma), Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (played by Smith himself) finally got a movie of their own, a hilarious comedy that’s essentially one big in-joke for the director’s fans.
Upon learning that Miramax Studios is making a movie that’ll feature two comic-book superheroes based on their likenesses, Jay and Silent Bob leave their native New Jersey behind and, looking to put a stop to the film, head west for Hollywood. Along the way, they meet up with a variety of people, including four beautiful jewel thieves (Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter and Jennifer Schwalbach) posing as animal rights activists. Hoping to use the “hetero life-partners” as a diversion, the ladies convince Jay and Silent Bob to break into a lab and steal an orangutan, thus drawing attention away from their latest heist. Unfortunately, one of the thieves (Shannon Elizabeth’s character) falls in love with the foul-mouthed Jay, which leads to a few complications.
Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back exists solely within the world created by director Smith in his previous pictures, with many familiar faces popping up from time-to-time, including Jason Lee (who reprises his role as Banky Edwards, the cartoonist he played in Chasing Amy), Brian O’Halloran, and Jeff Anderson (Dante and Randal, the main characters in Smith’s Clerks). In addition to referencing his own work, Kevin Smith also throws in a few jokes that are sure to bring a smile to anyone who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Along with some clever cameo appearances by Star Wars alumni Carrie Fisher (as a nun) and Mark Hamill (as a cinematic arch-criminal known as the “Cock Knocker”), I nearly bust a gut laughing when I learned that the Federal "Marshall" played by Will Ferrell was named “Willenholly” (those who remember the theme song for the old Sid and Marty Krofft show, Land of the Lost, will get a kick out of this reference).
Anyone unfamiliar with Smith’s previous movies may have a hard time following Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but with the likes of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock, George Carlin, Judd Nelson, Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek lending their talents as well, even those who’ve never before watched a Kevin Smith film are sure to find something to their liking.