Jay And Silent Bob

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Do I Get My Check? By Luke Jorgensen The movie "Jay and Silent Bob Strike back," written and directed by Kevin Smith, is a huge disappointment. After viewing the previous four of his films, "Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma, my expectations were set well above the output of this film. Everything from the plot to Silent Bob's infamous monologue screamed quick bucks. Essentially all of Smith's films are related. Overlapping characters and themes are present. Even with that knowledge expectations of new jokes and ideas are not unjust. Cheech and Chong even came up with new jokes.

Jay and Silent Bob set out to stop production of the film "Bluntman and Chronic," whose characters are based on them. They also want the money that they are entitled to for using their likeness. Although not always full of an amazing story, this film leaves something to be desired for a plot.

Two stoners hitchhiking across America is not exactly up to par with Smith's previous films. Random and ridiculous can be used to describe it. Jay and Silent Bob's stoner lifestyle is funny, but like "Half Baked" not exactly feature length film material.

In this film Jay and Silent Bob are the central characters of the film for the first time. Previous films acknowledge them from time to time, usually climaxing with Silent Bob's scholarly monologue on another character's problem. Silent Bob is just that, until the one point in the movie where he talks. In "Chasing Amy," Silent Bob explains how he chased the love of his life away because he was afraid of his own sexual inexperience. This provides some help to the otherwise lost soul played by Ben Affleck. Bob's monologue has become something that his fans cherish. The monologue in this film however is like listening to an uneducated man trying to sound intelligent. His monologue states that basically they are entitled to the money, which negates the whole trip they just went on. He obviously knew this before hand.

Silent Bob communicates with gestures and facial expressions watch the same. In previous films Silent Bob entertains with a variety of different expressions. When surprised his eyes widen to the size of basketballs. Since his actions have to be understandable, he is limited to what and how he gestures. Over and hour of gesturing and over exaggerated facial expressions grew tiresome.

Aside from the "Fugitive," the parodies in this film were amazingly lame and did nothing to further the storyline. Charlie's Angels was obviously used for the sole fact of filling seats with teenage boys. Smoking weed with Scooby-Doo and the gang is just added crap to the pile of bad parodies. The actors were constantly making fun of themselves and the movie, which grew old quick. The addition of Charlie's Angels and Scooby-Doo did nothing but attract stoners and boners to the theater. "This may be the greatest picture ever made for 14-year-old boys."(NY Times) People targeted for the viewing of this film probably have not even seen Smith's other work. This is ludicrous since the themes and jokes used in this film can only be understood and appreciated by viewing the other films.

Smith sold his soul to the god of money and materialism. The addition of the four beautiful babes in this film is not something I ever saw him doing. Previous characters are all portrayed as average, if not below average, people. Young adults who don't do much besides hanging out at the mall, convenience store clerks, and cartoonists are not exactly glamorous lifestyles. Four beautiful international jewel thieves are not exactly average. The attitude projected throughout the film is one of who cares. Nobody was concerned about quality or content. Concern seems only to be with the money made for production of this film.

Maybe it is my own selfish wants, or maybe my lack of understanding of the work that was done. The expectations were high, but the results were poor. Four good films for every bad one, most writer/directors would take that any day. George Lucas went from "Star Wars" to "Howard the Duck," Smith's descent is not near as dramatic. Not satisfactory to say the least. From useless parodies, lack of enthusiasm, terrible monologue, lack of plot, and aim for 14-year-old viewers the knowledge that was Kevin Smith is hard to swallow. He will bounce back. Everyone makes mistakes. This is one of his. Maybe not his last, probably not his first, but hopefully they do not become the norm. Still a fan Smith will get the benefit of the doubt. He should be paying people to go and watch this flop, not the other way around. Staying home and watching reruns of "Full House" will provide more laughs and entertainment. Expectations are still high for Smith, hopefully he can deliver better results next time.

1. Mitchell, Elvis. "Hitchhiking to Hollywood in a Hurry." New York Times, August 24, 2001.



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