Neil Young’s Film Lounge – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back



Click here for Neil’s review of the film (6/10)

USA 2001
director: Kevin Smith
script: Kevin Smith
producer: Scott Mosier
cinematography: Jason Anderson, Billy Clevenger
editing: Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith
music: James L Venable
lead actors: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jeff Anderson, Ernest O’Donnell, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Shannon Doherty, and many, many more
104 minutes

Kevin Smith is a building phenomenon – after his first four films growing in success from the black and white Clerks, through Mallrats, Chasing Amy and the big budget Dogma he has gradually grown both in popularity and in ability. JSBSB was expected to be the next big thing, to catapult him into the big time proper. Fortunately (and I use the word advisedly) he has chosen not to go down the road of pandering to the predictable Hollywood dross and made a genuinely funny movie.

So where did it go wrong? Well, the film’s plot centres around two characters: Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself) who, although being no more than dope dealers have been featured in a comic by a friend of theirs (but of course you’ve seen Chasing Amy so you know that already). The comic, entitled Bluntman and Chronic (the pair’s super-hero alter-egos) has been sold to Hollywood and they want some money for the privilege. Cue cameos from everyone from Mark Hamil to Carrie Fisher, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – even Dawson (of Creek fame) and ‘that guy who put his dick in the pie’ from American Pie. A jewel heist and a stolen monkey later the pair sabotage the film and make hundreds of thousands of dollars to boot. As you do.

Unlike other films in the old-skool stoner tradition this film manages to rise above the American Pie and Road Trips of the world and move you into the genuinely funny territory of the likes of Austin Powers and There’s Something About Mary. Yes, this film will date much quicker than either of those but it also contains more laughs per scene than any of the studio comedies that have been produced in the last few years.

Kevin Smith as a director has definitely moved forward, combining his tried and tested point-and-shoot style with something that parodies the films he is poking fun at in the script.

JSBSB is a film for anyone who likes Kevin Smith films as there is no denying that around a quarter of jokes depend on you having seen all four of his previous films at least twice. Against all the odds, it really works. There is never a point where the pace slows, never a moment where the laughs aren’t compounded and never a time when the film takes itself too seriously.

What’s twistin’ this bitch’s tit?
Maybe its because women don’t like to be called bitches, Jay.
They don’t? How bout fine piece of ass?
How bout not.
What the fuck am I supposed to call you then?
Something sweet you big goon, something nice.
Boo boo kitty fuck?

Smith knows his target audience expects nothing less, and hits them with sketch after sketch, crafting a bastard offspring of Cannonball Run and The Fast Show. Then there’s the seminal use of a simian Suzanne, the dubious duo’s orang-utan saviour. You can check out our Diorama of Dishonour for films that would have benefitted from featuring a monkey as one of the key characters.

This film is nothing more than it pretends to be: a film without a conscience, one that soars above the usual Hollywood comedy clich├ęs while plumbing the same humour levels as the Farrellys. It is, above all, a very funny film.

What the fuck is the internet?
The internet is a communications tool used the world over where people can come together to bitch about movies and share pornography with one another.

Well we’re half there – look out for the Assmaster Lounge coming soon to Jigsaw Lounge.

10th October, 2001
(seen Oct-4-01, Hyde Park Cinema, Leeds)

by Adam Maxwell