Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a 2001 American action adventure stoner comedy written, directed by, and starring Kevin Smith as Silent Bob, the fifth to be set in his View Askewniverse, a growing collection of characters and settings that developed out of his cult favorite Clerks. It focuses on the two titular characters, played respectively by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith.
The film features a large number of cameo appearances by famous actors, actresses and directors.
The title and logo for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back are direct references to the second-released Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back.
Smith originally intended this to be the last film to use his View Askewniverse, or to feature Jay and Silent Bob. Five years later Smith reconsidered and decided to close out the series with Clerks II, resurrecting Jay and Silent Bob in supporting roles. In the end credits for that film it states the two might return someday.
After getting a restraining order from Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) for selling drugs (including to minors) and constant harassment, Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) find out from Brodie (Jason Lee) that Bluntman and Chronic, the comic book based on their likenesses, has been adapted into a film in production by Miramax Films. In response, the two visit Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck), who was one of the writers of Bluntman and Cronic, and demand that he give them the royalties of the film. However, Holden tells Jay and Silent Bob that he sold his part of the creative and publishing rights of the comic over to his former friend Banky Edwards (also played by Jason Lee). Upon learning of the movie, as well as the negative reaction the movie has received so far on the Internet, the two set out on a quest to Hollywood, to prevent the movie from being made and tainting their image, or at the very least receive the money from the royalties owed to them.
On the way, they befriend an animal liberation group, consisting of four women: Justice (Shannon Elizabeth), Sissy (Eliza Dushku), Missy (Jennifer Schwalbach), and Chrissy (Ali Larter); and one man, Brent (Seann William Scott), who they had picked up for the cause. It is revealed that the organization is a front; Brent is a patsy, intended as a diversion by freeing an animal from a testing laboratory while the girls rob a diamond depository nearby. Jay tricks Brent and throws him out of the van in order to get closer to Justice, the most compassionate of the women and the one with whom he finds himself smitten. Justice, who quickly becomes close to Jay and Silent Bob (particularly the former), reluctantly accepts the two as the new patsies.
While the girls are robbing the diamond depository they accidentally set off the alarm, prompting them to break the glass and steal the diamonds. While this is going on Jay and Silent Bob free the animals and take an orangutan named Suzanne with them. They escape outside to see the police arriving and the van exploding, which they believe has killed the girls, including Justice, to the dismay of Jay.
Jay then takes the orangutan with him as a memorial to Justice. Quickly afterwards, Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly (Will Ferrell) shows up at the scene. Blinded to the diamond heist, he claims to have jurisdiction because of the large number of animals that escaped. He learns that all the animals have been recovered except for the orangutan. The officers then find and watch footage of a video Sissy recorded of Jay making remarks of “the clit” and that he’s “the Clit commander.” Jay, however, was unaware that CLIT is an acronym for Coalition for the Liberation of Itinerant Tree-Dwellers, the name of the organization that Justice is a part of. Willenholly blindly finds this as an act of terrorism and calls for police support to hunt down what he considered “the two most dangerous men on the planet.”
When the officers later have the trio cornered inside a diner and threaten to open fire, Jay and Silent Bob dress the orangutan as a child and walk out, claiming that they want to get their “son” out of the danger zone. Marshal Willenholly, thinking about the political repercussions of an alternate-lifestyle family, decides to let them leave, but he quickly realizes his mistake and resumes the chase. When they jump into a sewer system, only Willenholly himself follows them while the other police officers, led by the Sheriff (Judd Nelson), leave him, and he is soon tricked into jumping off of a dam.
Having escaped the law, Jay and Silent Bob once again return to their quest to reach Hollywood only to have Suzanne taken by a Hollywood animal acting agency car. Now on a quest to get their ape back and to clear their names, the two once again embark to Hollywood.
On their arrival in Hollywood, the two find themselves in the background of a E! News newscast (ironically about their kidnapping Suzanne) that Justice is watching. While Justice takes the diamonds and goes to Hollywood to set things right, Marshal Willenholly learns of their mission to reach Hollywood and leaves to find them.
After a long chase with studio security and reclaiming Suzanne from a fictional Scream 4 in production, Jay and Silent Bob end up in Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek’s dressing room, where they quickly realize that these are the actors that will play the roles of Bluntman and Chronic, next to Jay and Silent Bob. Suzanne beats both of them up effortlessly and Jay and Silent Bob assume the roles of their characters, Bluntman and Chronic. Being forced into their costumes and thrown on stage with a racist director (Chris Rock), they must engage in a duel with Mark Hamill playing a comic-book super-villain called Cock-Knocker, eventually taking a break from the scene when Willenholly interrupts to capture Jay and Silent Bob. Justice arrives on the scene, much to the surprise of Jay and Silent Bob. Justice tells them that the CLIT organization was not real and that the two were used as a distraction for the robbing of the jewels. Justice also admits that she, along with Missy, Sissy and Chrissy, were in fact jewel thieves. As Justice’s former jewel thief team arrives, a climactic final battle ensues, after which Jay and Silent Bob get their royalties to the film, and Justice turns herself and her former team in to Willenholly in exchange for a shorter sentence and letting Jay and Silent Bob go.
The film ends with Jay and Silent Bob spending their royalty money on airplane tickets to find everybody who expressed negative opinions about the movie and characters, ranging from kids to clergy, and traveling to their towns to beat them up. The scene then cuts to everyone leaving a movie theater, having just watched the Bluntman and Chronic movie and expressing negative reception: Hooper X calls the movie a “one 90-minute-long gay joke.” Jay and Silent Bob, with most of the cast, then go across the street to enjoy a performance from Morris Day and The Time.
After the credits, God (Alanis Morissette) closes the View Askewniverse book that still has pages left in it.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film:
First Published: Mar 1, 2012 – Last Updated: May 9, 2013