I’ve been a Kevin Smith fan for quite a few years now, and have genuine affection for his two most famous creations, Jay and Silent Bob, the drug dealing duo played respectively by Jason Mewes and Smith himself. Having seen their early exploits in the View Askweniverse films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks 2) I was interested to check out their other cinematic outings.
Film #29: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was a fun movie that mixed slapstick and lowbrow humour with meta, fourth wall breaking gags and satire of the film business. The sequel has a similar approach and deals with “reboot” culture as the hetero life-mates discover that Bluntman and Chronic is to be rebooted. Having been based off them, they tried to stop the initial movie but having been duped out of signing away their names, they now race to reclaim their identities.
What follows is a tongue in cheek retread of various plot points, gags about fan culture, superhero movies and the usual dick and fart jokes. Along the way they also reunite with Shannon Elizabeth’s Justice, Jay’s former love and learn that he has a daughter, Milly, who is played by Smith’s real life daughter Harley Quinn Smith. Milly and her friends hitch a ride across country to Chronic-Con where they want to stop Kevin Smith from making the movie.
There’s a lot of familiar ground here, and repeated gags, but in a way that’s kinda the point. Smith manages the neat trick of making fun of nostalgia and pop culture’s repetitive nature while also satisfying his own fans’ walk down memory lane. There are appearances from familiar faces throughout, with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Jason Lee all reprising earlier roles from the movies.
It’s engagingly daft, and there are enough laughs to keep it going. For non-Smith fans it probably doesn’t work but I dug it. There’s also just enough heart in the plot, with Jay having to deal with fatherhood and the continuing friendship of our two heroes being oddly sweet and charming. It also shows Smith’s continued ability to laugh at himself and his career. 7/10.
Film #32: Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie
This movie totally passed me by back in 2013, probably because it didn’t have a huge release and I was at uni, but I found it on Prime so figured I’d check it out.
Unfortunately it was a huge disappointment, the story about Jay and Silent Bob winning the lottery and becoming the superheroes Bluntman and Chronic could be fun, but the character of Jay suffers without Mewes’ likeable charm and onscreen presence, and some of the gags feel mean spirited and lazy. It’s laboured and too much of it felt a needlessly stupid.
There are some nice comic book riffs, and Kevin Smith’s cameos where he offers a quick commentary are fun but could have worked better. It just feels like this is a movie where Smith’s script goes down a notch, and becomes more like the crude brainless stuff it’s often dismissed as, lacking the usual intelligence and secondary level his work usually has. It also doesn’t help that for me the animation felt rushed and cheap. Disappointing. 3/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.