Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/2/2002 (6987 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
z HHH out of 5
Off the top of my head, I can think of at least four movies from the late '60s and early '70s in which the heroes were drug-dealers: Easy Rider, Cisco Pike, Superfly and Dealing.
There were probably more. But it was the '60s, right?
Of course, the pusher-as-hero trend didn't last long, and in the Just-Say-No '80s and '90s, drug-dealers in movies became greasy hand-cannon fodder for the likes of Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris.
So points for audacity to director Kevin Smith for daring to turn the recurring character/pot-brokers of all his other films (including Clerks, Mallrats, and Dogma) into the protagonists of this road comedy.
The cataclysm that forces Jay and Silent Bob from their dope-retail headquarters in front of a convenience store is that Hollywood has opted to make a movie based on their comic book alter-egos Bluntman and Chronic. So they hitchhike across America to get a piece of their action. Along the way, they encounter a hobo (George Carlin) who teaches them the secret of getting rides (Carlin's demonstration of his technique may qualify as the one of the most disturbing screen images since the eyeball-slitting in Un Chien Andalou); a quartet of super-babe animal activists (including Shannon Elizabeth and Eliza Dushku, who share a catfight scene); and a chimp.
It's kind of funny, although Smith works under the assumption you've seen all his movies.
For the more well-rounded movie fan, the film kicks into high gear when the dynamic dork duo finally arrives in Hollywood. The guys manage to sneak on the "Miramax backlot" and witness, in the movie's best scene, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon gleefully dissing each other's movies while filming a mindlessly bloody sequel to Good Will Hunting.
Unlike his mostly silent character Bob, Smith's strength is that he doesn't censor himself; he'll say anything. This results in a few sublime moments of insider satire , and a few, um, less sublime moments of vulgarity.
Although I have to admit I laughed at how a Charlie's Angels-style heist scene deliberately undermines its cool value with an unseemly flatulence joke.
-- Randall King