great review in st pete times.

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Posted by shpadoinkle at on August 24, 2001 at 11:30:42:

this is suprising 'cause this guy hates everything!

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Grade: A-
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Shannon Elizabeth, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Eliza Dushku, Jason Biggs, James Van Der Beek, Carrie Fisher
Screenplay: Kevin Smith
Rating: R; extremely harsh profanity, sexual references and drug abuse, violence
Running time: 96 min.
Those who can get past the sure-to-offend language that powers Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back are in for a treat.
Kevin Smith sneaked into Hollywood through the back door with the no-budget comedy Clerks. He may as well ransack the place before he leaves.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back trashes the film industry unlike no previous studio spoof, with utter disregard for anyone's feelings, especially easily offended moviegoers. This movie takes no prisoners nor any guff from anyone while dishing out plenty of its own. Smith is an indelicate artist whose affection for movies and human nature continually shines through the gutterspeak.

Be forewarned: Smith loves shocking audiences with crass sexual humor and aggressive profanity that will chase some unsuspecting customers to the exits. They'll wonder how anyone can stoop to such depraved levels of humor and how anyone else could consider it entertaining.

Two words for those people: Lighten up. Smith would add a few more words, probably beginning with the letter "f."

Many gags in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back won't mean anything to viewers who missed Smith's earlier works. It's an extension of his first three movies -- Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy -- with brief roles for several actors who appeared in his fourth, the misunderstood religious satire Dogma. Part of the joke is who shows up. Smith expects viewers to be up to speed.

We met the title characters Jay Phat Buds (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) hanging around the Quick Stop convenience store in Clerks. They immediately became the court jesters of grunge, a verbose pothead with nothing clean to say and his mostly mute accomplice in dealing nickel bags of dope. Abbott and Costello meet Cheech and Chong.

The characters clicked with audiences and remained sidekicks through slacker hijinks (Mallrats) and others' sexual confusion (Chasing Amy). The latter film inspired comic book artists Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) and Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) to create the sinsemilla superheroes Bluntman and Chronic.

Smith's new film places Jay and Silent Bob front and off-center. Banky has sold the rights to Bluntman and Chronic to Miramax Films, jumping on the comic-book bandwagon after X-Men. Jay and Bob don't get a dime, but they're getting a lot of grief from anonymously brave Internet geeks posting on movie chat sites. The only way to end the insults is sabotaging the movie, so Jay and Bob set out for Hollywood.

What ensues is essentially a Hope-Crosby road movie with a gleefully dirty mind behind it. Yet, something sets apart Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back from other below-the-belt comedies such as American Pie 2. Dogma's irreverence disguised a disgruntled believer's soul, and with this movie Smith shows the same faith in cinema, again on his own terms.

Many of today's comedies about sex among young adults seem to be created by middle-aged filmmakers acting out fantasies they never lived in high school or college. Smith, 31, belongs to the generation those movies insult.

He's a filmmaker whose sense of Hollywood history begins with Star Wars and was sharpened by cable TV reruns. Like much of his audience, he was weaned on rock 'n' roll irony and eye-rolling disrespect for protocol. The smutty rebellion of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is genuine and oddly refreshing; no other kind of movie could be expected to get laughs from Generation Y-not. If it's too bold, you're too old.

Smith is still a better writer than director. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back suffers from his forgetting to change camera set-ups and blend scenes together into seamless action. He even makes fun of those shortcomings, winking at the audience about the flaws they're witnessing. Weekly Planet film critic Lance Goldenberg pegged it correctly, noting that Smith made a critic-proof movie, heading us off at the pass before we can ambush him.

That willingness to mock himself softens the nastiness of what Smith does to others. Any impression of his feeling superior would ruin the jokes. Some lines seem cribbed from restroom graffiti, and the set-ups, like a Scooby Doo interlude, are a stoner's pipe dreams. But there's a vitality to his stream-of-altered-consciousness style that is irresistible to anyone who isn't too shocked to search for it.

Some people get offended before giving Smith a chance to earn it. The unprecedented barrage of profanity in Clerks was condemned without attention to context. Dogma raised Catholic ire simply because it was a comedy about Catholics, no matter how devout Smith's intentions were beneath the alleged heresy. Gay rights advocates complained about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back because a derisive word for gay people and oral sex are often used as punchlines.

However, those insensitive gags are no different from Mel Brooks' use of the n-word in Blazing Saddles; only those characters nobody would want to emulate use them. Nothing in Smith's film would encourage animosity toward homosexuals except in warped minds already predisposed to such acts. Smith isn't irresponsible, but he is irrepressible. In today's social climate, that makes him dangerous

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