24th Oct2019

The Road to Reboot: ‘Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back’ Review

by Chris Cummings

We continue down our Road to Reboot, and we reach one of the last hurdles, with Kevin Smith’s ultra-meta 2001 flick, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.

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Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back is one of those moments in time when the planets aligned and true cinematic brilliance was able to me made. I kid… this is one of those moments when Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes took to the streets, began to hump windows, walk around with a chimp and attempt to fly to Hollywood to step “Bluntman and Chronic” the superhero movie based on them, from being made. There’s so many in-jokes and meta moments here, characters from previous Smith movies and even actors playing themselves. Ben Affleck appears as both himself and as Holden McNeil, the character he played in Chasing Amy. It’s wild.

I always enjoyed Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back because of how absurd, stupid and fun it is, and I still enjoy it now. Revisiting it for the sake of Road to Reboot was a blast, and it’s all so familiar, from Jay’s scene declaring himself as “The Clit Commander” to moments of hilarious dialogue, such as Jay posting on an internet forum while in a Mooby’s, fighting back against the trolls. It’s daft as a brush, madder than a box of frogs and crazier than a bag of cats, and we wouldn’t want it any other way, would we?

The cast is huge, too. We get so many folks from Smith-flick history, from Affleck to Jason Lee coming back as Brodie Bruce AND Banky Edwards, Brian O’Halloran returning as Dante Hicks and Jeff Anderson returning as Randal Graves. We also get Will Farrell as a Federal Wildlife Marshal named Willenholly, Carrie Fisher as a Nun, George Carlin as a Hitchhiker (who doesn’t mind taking a shot in the mouth), the trilogy of friends, Justice, Sissy and Chrissy, played by Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku and Ali Larter respectively, Judd Nelson as the Sheriff, Chris Rock as Chaka Luther King (WHAT?) and even Mark Hamill as… erm… Cocknocker!

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back is an oddity of a film, but if you’re a fan of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma and connect with Kevin Smith’s movies, then you’ll be a fan of this one too. It’s a movie for those fans, the fans who loved those other movies, and for every in-joke and wink, if you’ve seen those movies, you’ll get all of it.

Now, I’m not saying this is a great movie, or a movie that will appeal to those who aren’t already fans of Smith’s films, but it was made for that fanbase, and being someone who related to Smith and his movies, I was, and still am, a fan of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. The upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot will certainly be similar, I feel, with many of the names returning and some of the same storylines being implemented too. As for Affleck…. he was the bomb in Phantoms, yo.

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