I’ve been looking forward to seeing the sequel/reboot to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back for quite a while and its finally landed on digital platforms this week. Kevin Smith has released this film in a similar way to his movie Red State. He essentially just tours around the world with from city to city showing the film and then having a Q&A after for 50 bucks a pop. So he’s selling a movie and an experience and his movies probably make a shitload more money that way. I’d be up for going to see this, but of course being an Atlantic Canadian means the tour didn’t come anywhere close to me.
If you’re interested in the movie its available on bluray and ITunes now.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is probably exactly what you think its going to be. It really is just Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back again. Kevin Smith himself has pretty much admitted that. This time Jay and Silent Bob find out that the Bluntman and Chronic movie that was made about them years ago is now up for a remake, directed by Kevin Smith himself (yeah, this gets pretty meta). So they head off to Hollywood again to stop the movie.
Jay and Silent Bob have been fairly dormant for more than a decade. Clerks II came out in 2006. They have made an animated film and Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith have done live shows together, but this is really the first time we’ve seen middle aged Jay and Silent Bob. Mewes performance is really the one who matters because he’s really the only one who talks and he does a pretty solid job. The last 10-15 years have been pretty rough on the guy though thanks to his drug use. Meth Head Jay and Skinny Bob take a while to get used to.
Reboot is a lot of Kevin Smith’s patting himself on the back. A lot of his characters from the View Askew movies (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma) make little appearances along the way, plus Smith’s Comic Book Men pals, his podcasting partners and some of his common collaborators. There is so much of it that if this is going to be the first Kevin Smith movie you’ve ever seen I wouldn’t bother watching it because you’re not going to understand a lot of the cameos and the movie relies so heavily on them.
The movie does have a bit of heart, which is good considering the plot hardly moves. Jay learns that he has a daughter with Shannon Elizabeth (who still looks pretty good these days) from Strike Back. His daughter is played by Kevin Smith’s real daughter Harley Quinn Smith. She’s already been in a few of Kevin’s movies and she’s pretty good here too.
There is a real highlight of the movie in the film’s final moments that serves as a bit of an epilogue to one of Smith’s films from the 90s. I won’t say which one it is, but its such a cool moment that it makes the whole movie worth watching. Smith is well aware of his cult following at this point and he knows who he’s making this movie for.
Smith’s definitely not what he used to be. The dialogue is not as ridiculously memorable as some of his other movies, but I will say at the end of the day I’m glad this movie exists. If we never see Jay and Bob again this is a good ending for them. Although at this moment its possible we see Clerks 3 and Twilight of the Mallrats, but Smith’s failure to get some projects off the ground makes me uncertain. Its very likely that this won’t be the end for them.
I probably sound like I didn’t like this movie. Its an easy movie to hate pile on, but I did enjoy it and I’ll probably be watching it again, but at time it barely feels like a movie. I definitely like this movie more than Winger though I can tell you that.
Verdict: Better than Winger.