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Movie Review

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

MPAA Rating: R for nonstop crude and sexual humor, pervasive strong language, and drug content

Reviewed by: Scott Ward
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release:
2001
USA Release:
August 24, 2001
Relevant Issues
Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”
Featuring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Jason Lee, Chris Rock, Shannon Elizabeth
Director: Kevin Smith
Producer: Scott Mosier
Distributor: Dimension Films

“Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” is the 5th and final film in the New Jersey series by acclaimed independent director Kevin Smith. In this installment, Jay and Silent Bob, a pot-dealer and his “hetero-life mate” embark on a journey to stop a film being made about comic-book characters that were loosely based on them (they’re not getting any money). This journey takes them from New Jersey to Missouri to Colorado, and eventually to Hollywood. Along the way, they pick up their normal assortment of friends, foes, and monkeys.

Technically, the film itself is excellently put together. Kevin Smith has had a history of designing multi-level films that are simple and straightforward on the surface, but maintaining a deeper level of understanding just below the surface. This one is no exception. Constant pokes at Hollywood and the greed that runs the entertainment industry make the film a delightful carnal comedy that kept the theater in an uproar.

Ben Affleck, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Smith in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”

I would be amiss, however, if I didn’t mention the dark side to the movie. There’s plenty to offend everyone. The language (like most Smith films) is vulgar and street-level (Kids-in-Mind reports 228 uses of the “F” word alone). There’s plenty of sexual implications and frank talk to go around. I don’t recall any gore or anything other than slapstick violence, and there is drug use and some brief partial nudity of a male’s backside and a glance at an adult Web site. For those reasons, I give a low moral rating to this film. There didn’t seem to be any pot-shots at Christianity, other than a scene where Jay mistakenly thinks a nun is coming onto him (He gets tossed out of a car for that one).

Unfortunately, there is a conflict between my appreciation for the arts and my love for Jesus. From an artistic and creative standpoint, the film was very good. Kevin Smith’s use of dialogue, plot, and character development are well-done, and the actors perform admirably. At the same time, from a moral and spiritual standpoint, I thought the movie was seriously lacking for obvious reasons.

This is disappointing, since I love Kevin Smith’s previous work. From the honest ethical and moral conflicts of “Chasing Amy” and “Clerks”, to the frank disection of religiosity and appearance in “Dogma”, Smith has consistently been a good filmmaker and storyteller. Often times, his use of vulgarity is forgivable in the presence of a deeper message. This time, though, he seems to have made a good movie vulgar, simply to be vulgar.

Was this a good movie technically? Yes. Did I laugh? Heartily. Was I ashamed later for laughing? Yes. Should Christians see this movie? Probably not. If you don’t mind the frankness and vulgarity, I would still recommend one of his earlier movies before this one.


Viewer Comments
If you enjoy constant swearing, unending talk about sex and homosexuality, and are sick in the head, then you might enjoy this movie. it’s awful and I can’t believe I actually let someone talk me into seeing it. I was embarrassed walking out of the theatre at the end of the movie. This movie is the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 2]
—Alicia, age 22
Hmmm… well…morally this movie is a NO see, but “worldly”, it’s the funniest movie ever. it’s definitely not for kids, adults only. I really enjoyed watching it and having the entire theatre rolling on the ground laughing but later I regretted it because of how “bad” it was. It has lots of offensive language, crude acts, and the list could continue forever. If you’re going to see it, be warned, but I wouldn’t suggest this to my pastor.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 5]
—shi-chan, age 15
…smart, witty, and outrageous. I also liked the homage to the Internet movie message-board community. To anybody who spends a lot of time on movie message-boards (as I do), you will no doubt understand that a lot of people get on there to do nothing but diss and bash every single movie that comes out, without watching it, or knowing nothing about it… The homage they paid to them at the end of the movie was hilarious, although I admit it was crude.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
—Justin King, age 15, non-Christian
This movie has got to be the best movies I’ve seen since Halfbaked. Yes, this movie does have a lot of profanity
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 5]
—Mike Crum, age 18
I LOVED Mallrats. I thought it was clever, humorous and not all that offensive, but this could be one of the worst movies I have ever seen! There is nothing redeeming about this film. NOTHING! I sat through 2 hours of gay jokes, f-words and stupid people doing stupid things with acting soooo poor that it became agonizing after a while. Do not go and see this movie.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Jason, age 24
I personally am a Christian, but I also love the work of Kevin Smith (aka Silent Bob). Yes, the movie is crude, but I get that every day at school as well. Sometimes what I hear at school is even worse (and if you see the movie that’s pretty bad). I don’t believe that Kevin Smith would ever make a movie to offend anyone. If you ignore the things that offend you in the movie, and look at it as a whole; it’s a very good and funny movie. Kevin Smith even makes fun of the movie as it’s going.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 4½]
—Erini Christine, age 17
…Yes, the movie has coarse language, which may offend some. But some of the most brilliant movies have contained various expletives. If you can look past all of that, you will see a truly great, entertaining, and most importantly, funny movie… The directing, cinematography, acting, writing—all top notch. Jason Mewes shows that he has grown as an actor since his Clerks days. For those who have followed the “New Jersey Trilogy”…this movie is a real treat—the references and crossovers are astounding. Kevin Smith really gave back to his long time fans with this one… a masterpiece of modern cinema, and if you can just relax and get past all the “bad stuff”, you will find a truly entertaining motion picture.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
—aperfecttool9, age 19
Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma) has put forth another fine offering this time with Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) as the main characters. These two stoners have gotten increased recognition as the “New Jersey Chronicles” have progressed earning a rather large part in 1999’s Dogma as the prophets. This time they are the main feature, and all the crazy adventures they go through are sure to have you rolling on the floor with laughter. This movie should only be viewed by those 15 and up, due to extreme sexual humor and nearly 300 uses of the “F” word, mostly delivered by Jay. Some great parodies in this film as well, especially “Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season”, this parody is sure to have fans of Good Will Hunting in hysterics. Overall, a very entertaining film that should be viewed as a comedy and not taken seriously.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 5]
—Jack Stevenson, age 21
This movie is hilarious. You won’t find a funnier comedy this year. Special appearances by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and others makes this movie enjoyable to watch. Jason Mewes’ (Jay) comedy is so funny, it made my side hurt. Will Ferrell also is a very funny character. His talent to act so stupid makes him fun to watch and easy to laugh at. Kevin Smith is a comedic genius, and all I can say is, I hope this isn’t the last we see of this comedic duo.
My Ratings: [3½]
—David, age 16
Movie Critics
…228 F-words… about 69 scatological terms…, 43 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities, 16 religious exclamations…
—Kids-in-Mind
…The humor is admittedly regressive, juvenile, unashamedly crude, and totally pervasive…
—Michael Elliott, Movie Parables
…WARNING: If constant profanity, including repetitive use of the f-word, bothers you; if sex talk and the pantomiming of sex acts bother you; if the use of names of women’s private parts for comedic effect bothers you; you will not like this movie… don’t consider seeing “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and then writing a letter complaining about how offended you are. you’ve been warned…
—Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette