Kevin Smith conceived the latest instalment of his New Jersey Chronicles in an attempt to bid farewell to the universe of interlocking characters he created in his first four films. The result is a manic mix of stoner humour, star cameos, and movie parodies. Despite being utterly shambolic and juvenile, it may well be one of the funniest comedies of the year.
Jumpy dope fiend Jay (Mewes) and his taciturn sidekick Silent Bob (Smith) have always been an acquired taste. They've consistently been one of the most popular elements of Smith's oeuvre, though, and placing them centre stage is an inspired idea.
The plot, which finds them heading off to Hollywood to stop a movie based on their cartoon alter egos Bluntman and Chronic, is merely a skeletal framework on which to dangle a silly sub-plot involving PVC-clad, bank-robbing sex kittens, lots of Internet gags, and a plethora of appearances from Smith's stock company of actors.
These include Ben Affleck (in two roles), Matt Damon (spoofing "Good Will Hunting") and Joey Lauren Adams (from "Chasing Amy"). In a nod to Smith's enduring fascination with the "Star Wars" movies, there are also cameos from Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill - both of whom, it must be said, have seen better decades.
The film runs out of steam long before it reaches Tinseltown - although there's a funny pie gag involving Jason Biggs - while Shannon Elizabeth ("Scary Movie") delivers a breathtakingly inept performance as Jay's love interest. But it's still a great send-off for one of Hollywood's unlikeliest double acts.
Find out what Kim Newman thinks of the film.