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IN SHORT: Stoner humor. Boner humor. Not a groaner in the bunch. [Rated R for nonstop crude and sexual humor, pervasive strong language, and drug content. 105 minutes]
If you are prone to buying the Godzilla-sized "two gallons for the price of one" combo packages at your local cineplex, be warned: Wear a diaper. You'll never make it through Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. We only bought a standard, "medium-sized" Coke and barely made it to the final credits clean and dry.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is nothing less than a foul mouthed, full throttle slash and burn through the American cultural wasteland. Simply put, if you found the use of four letter words in the South Park movie offensive, stay the hell away. If you haven't seen South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut and make it through the first three minutes of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, you'll do fine. That being said, if you've ever been a teenage boy into rock and roll, or a teenage girl into teenage boys who are into rock 'n' roll, you'll find that Jay and Bob kicks significant comedic butt. That enthusiastic endorsement comes from a just past forty critic who hasn't felt like a teen in a long time. If there is a temporary fountain of youth to be found on the big screen this summer, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is it.
Having come late to this saga, we worried that we might face a fate worse than babies abandoned on a wintry mountainside, sacrificed to the Gods of Inside Information and Sly Salutes to the previous quartet of Clerks and Mallrats and Chasing Amy and Dogma. Long time readers know that we have no tolerance for movies that require knowledge of the Source Material, cutting only a little slack for movies that are sequels. Happily, you need no introduction to or background information about our heroes. All the information you need is presented in a manner that would be clear to anyone mentally straight or toked out of their skulls. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back doesn't fall back on its inside info until the final scenes. By then, we didn't care.
Jay (Jason Mewes) and the oftentimes mute Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) sell nickel bags for fifteen bucks out in front of the Quick Stop convenience store in Leonardo, New Jersey. Some time earlier they were the inspiration for a pair of comic book characters creatively named "Jay" and "Silent Bob," the secret identities of superheroes Bluntman and Chronic. At the Local Comicbook Store they learn that, thanks to the success of the X-Men movie, the Bluntman and Chronic comic has been optioned by Miramax for a feature that will probably star Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Seeking information from series writer Holden (Ben Affleck), they learn how Hollywood works -- Holden's already cashed the check and tells the pair that they're out of luck unless they can get to Hollywood. Not only that, Holden opens their eyes to an insidious thing called "The Internet," where a website called moviepoopshoot.com has message boards on which anonymous posters like "MagnoliaFan" are dissing the pair -- using vocabulary that describes in graphic detail activities your beloved dog might perform on himself -- for selling out. Selling out? Jay and Silent Bob haven't seen a penny from the movie deal so they set out for Hollywood to find the other comic book "creator," Banky (Jason Lee) and stop the filming. They've got three days to get there and no means of transportation.
Hold up and consider this: Our heroes want to stop the filming rather than sue for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that is rightfully theirs. Deep thinkers, these guys. OK, back to the highway, where George Carlin enlightens our grasshoppers as to the Holy Book of The Unwritten Rules of the Road. To hitchhike successfully you must live by The Book and learn to disassociate mind from body to attain your Ultimate Goal. In plain English, sometimes you've got to slurp some sausage to get where you want to go. Luckily they get picked up by a nun (Carrie Fisher) who lives by The Book, too. Happy heterosexual Jay licks his lips and goes down for the count. They get the boot, of course, but to Hollywood they must go.
We hope you watched a lot of Saturday Morning teevee, else you're going to miss the joke in a very funny, very major diss of a forthcoming film.
Thus begins an almost non-stop run of fellatio jokes running nearly fifty fifty with the rest of Smith's slapshot satire, which disses nearly everyone and every movie, cultural cliché and celebrity career that may have occurred in the last fifteen or so years. Too many to mention, though each sly reference is lovingly swaddled in as many four letter words as possible. We're talking six or seven [deleted]s for every boner joke. The movie is remarkably light on stoner humor, preferring to make every possible reference to all biological parts between the waist and the knees. That means our heroes get to play patsy for a quartet of bodacious babes named Sissy (Eliza Dushku), Missy (Jennifer Schwalbach), Chrissy (Ali Larter) and Justice (Shannon Elizabeth). Jay has fallen hard for young Justice, so he and hetero life partner Silent Bob break into an animal testing facility to liberate the monkeys. Across the street, the ladies are busting into the Colorado Diamond Exchange to loot and pillage. Thanks to an even dumber than our stars cop (Will Ferrell), Jay and Silent Bob get named as the most dangerous terrorist crooks in the country.
We haven't even gotten to the already legendary on the Internet Star Wars-like confrontation starring Mark Hamill. Before you get there, look for cameos by Diedrich Bader of the Drew Carrey Show; Saturday Night Live's Tracy Morgan, Wes Craven, Gus Van Sant, Seann William Scott, Jamie Kennedy, Jon Stewart, Judd Nelson, Chris Rock, Shannen Doherty, E! Cable's Steve Kmetko and Jules Asner, Joey Lauren Adams and Alanis Morissette. And, for us comics fans, Joe Quesada and Paul Dini.
There's another pair, but that would spoil a surprise at the end.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Jan and Silent Bob Strike Back, he would have paid . . .
Two weeks in a row, we get a movie featuring the goddess Ali Larter. Life is Good. So Is Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
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