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Jay and Silent Bob give back -to their fans

Make no mistake about it: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is a stupid movie.

Now that that is understood, director Kevin Smith?s final episode involving everyone?s favorite slackers is very enjoyable and quite funny at times. However, it may take a devout Kevin Smith fan to get all the inside, self-referential jokes that make up the majority of the script.

Filled with endless references to Smith?s four previous works (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is nothing more than an excuse to make fart and gay jokes, not to mention a perpetual self-deprecating fat joke that Smith appears to be obsessed with.

In fact, Smith is the king of self-deprecation and he shares the wealth with his pals Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jason Biggs in roles playing themselves.

But when characters from Smith?s other films are not making good-natured digs at themselves in their cameo roles, the rest of the action is based on lewd humor that offends, but does so without any apologies as well. And that?s really the point behind this funny film, intended to humor those who are familiar with the titular protagonists.

And although this film is a follow-up to Smith?s previous works as far as characters are concerned, don?t expect any profound statement other than ?fart jokes are cool.?

While the clueless duo?s lives have consisted of little more than standing outside a convenience store and wreaking havoc in a mall, Jay (Jason Mewes) and his ?hetero life-mate? Silent Bob (Smith) finally get their own movie that serves as a sequel of sorts to four separate films.

The thin plot centers on Jay and Silent Bob?s discovery of the Internet and news of a movie being made adapted from the comic book based on them called ?Bluntman and Chronic.? (Those not familiar with Smith?s best film, Chasing Amy, should rent that before seeing this.)

Once Jay and Silent Bob get the idea that stopping the movie from being made will put an end to Internet geeks posting mean messages about them on chatboards, our dynamic duo are off to Hollywood. Along the way, they encounter a hitchhiker (George Carlin), a nun (Carrie Fisher) and four college-aged animal activists (Shannon Elizabeth and company) that might be more than what they seem.

It would be more effort than it?s worth trying explain why a federal wildlife marshal (Will Ferrell) and a Utah police chief (Judd Nelson) are after them. Just know that a kidnapped orangutan, spoofs of Scooby Doo, Planet of the Apes and The Fugitive, as well as more gay jokes are heavily involved.

When Jay and Bob make it to Hollywood, they interrupt the set of the sequel to Good Will Hunting and well, that?s really all you need to know of the plot to decide whether to see this film.

But those who liked Smith?s most recent film, Dogma, primarily for its satiric view of organized religion, and Chasing Amy for its original story and great dialogue, may be disappointed with this setback from Smith, who is capable of much more. While Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is original, the expletive-filled dialogue lacks substance and the only satire comes from tongue-in-cheek jokes about Smith?s own movies and those of his friends.

However, if you?re just looking for a fun ride with two stoners from Jersey who are here to take you on a road trip ála Beavis and Butthead Do America, then you?ll love this film because it was made for you. Smith said he made the film more for his fans than himself. After all, this will be the last time we see the Jay and Silent Bob characters, and it couldn?t have come at a better time. Smith also said he wanted to put an end to his alter ego and grow up, now that he?s married and has a child.

Well, Kevin, your bachelor party is over. Enjoy the memories and walk down that aisle toward serious filmmaking. And when you do, be sure to bring back some of the substance from your last two films, and leave the silly characters at home. n Rated R