In a time before Marvel and DC had their respective cinematic and television universe, there was but one comic book universe on film; The View Askew universe. Starting in 1994 with the cult classic, Clerks, director Kevin Smith takes us into the a sub culture on the cusp of going mainstream. Followed up by Mallrats, the View Askew and Smith prophetically had the signature of the MCU 20 years before its conception; The Stan Lee cameo. The following 2 films, Dogma and Chasing Amy, build to a crescendo that is Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
In 2001, when Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was released, to many it was just a stoner comedy. In hindsight this journey between two friends trying to save their good name from internet slander, has proved to be ahead of its time. Aside from the constant comic book references, there were many other real life foresight. The plot of the story is that studio’s have been buying up so many comic IP’s that even the fictional “Bluntman and Chronic” who are based on the pair, has been bought and being made into a movie. After the duo is introduced to the internet where “people come together to bitch about movies”, they travel to Hollywood to stop the movie based on characters based in them; Meta on meta. In the 15 years after this films debut, we’ve gotten countless trailers that the internet has come together to voice displeasure about, most recently the Ghostbusters. The internet banded so hard against this trailer, one of the starts of the Ghostbusters reboot, Leslie Jones, went to Twitter like Jay went to the fictional message board.
Through the hour 45 minute run-time, Jay and Silent Bob cross paths with memorable cameos that foretold a possible present day society. May it be the late George Carlin making satirical jabs at the blurred lines of modern day sexuality, or Jon Stewart playing a news reporter reporting ridiculous news. Jay even has an exchange with a fellow card carrying drug California drug dealer played Tracy Morgan. The stand out performance in this ensemble is Will Farrell as the wildlife marshal tailing Jay and Silent Bob. Though Ferrell has had several movies credits to his name, 2001 was a breakout year for him. With this movie along with Zoolander, Ferrell was poised to take over the comedy landscape for the next decade. Another prediction in Kevin’s own askew view.
Smith also tapped into his alum cast and friends. Ben Affleck made 2 separate cameos both self referencing; As did Jason Lee. Smith called on Chris Rock to play the director of the "Bluntman and Chronic" movie in Strike Back. Rock's character was a reverse echo to Rocks most recent job as Oscar host during the #OscarsSoWhite.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is like taking a look at the present through the lens of an optimistic past.