Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

(In theaters, August 2001) Non-Kevin Smith-fans probably shouldn’t even bother watching this fifth film in the Viewaskew Universe. Not only do it feature cameo bits from nearly everyone in the first four Smith films, but it also plays heavily upon the elements that made the series so endearing to fans and repulsive to others. A Road Trip film at heart, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back is easily of the funniest films of the year, boldly skewering Internet fandom, Smith’s own films, Planet Of The Apes, homophobic rhetoric and a laundry list of element to numerous to contemplate here. Harsh language, off-color gags, simple stupidity and a lot of pantomime: it’s all there and more. There are annoyances beyond the usual Smith quirks, though: The film slows down considerably whenever there’s a monkey on-screen (a usual sign of creative bankruptcy, if you ask me) and that also includes Will Ferrell, completely unlikable here. There’s also an annoyance related to the Silent Bob character: In Smith’s first films, Silent Bob was silent because he didn’t need to talk; Jay handled the talking. He wasn’t this buffoon-like character gesticulating madly or overreacting at every gag. But, never mind that, Smith fans will love this final send-off to their beloved characters. Be sure to stay for the credits (always interesting to read) as in the charming post-credit clip, God herself closes the book on the Viewaskew Universe.

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