Jay and Silent Bob Reboot review
If your any kind of film fan, then you would know Kevin Smith. He may be one of Hollywood's biggest geeks, but he's also an exceptional writer who managed to capture a generation X voice in the 1990s with movies like Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy. What's interesting is that not only were they all set in the same universe, but the characters that tied it all together were the drug dealing boys Jay and Silent Bob. They were primary the comedic team that served alongside the main characters, but they also did push the narrative forward whether it was helping Jason Lee in Mallrats or Silent Bob relaying his love story in Chasing Amy to Ben Afleck.
They eventually got their own movie in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The movie may have been about them trying to stop Hollywood from making a movie about the characters but it was also about fan entitlement and selling out to the larger movie industry. It's fair to say that it was ahead of it's time before social media would evolve the internet into a debate space. Given that Kevin Smith is usually ahead of the curve, it's nice to see him return the characters in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot to look at more current trends in the industry.
In obvious fashion, Jay (played by Jason Mews) and Silent Bob (played by Kevin Smith) are arrested after being caught growing their own marijuana. They manage to get the case dropped, but the same lawyer that defended them had also gotten them to sign their likeness and rights to their names to a film company that's producing a reboot of their Bluntman & Chronic movie that was done before in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
After they understand what a reboot is, they vow to get to Hollywood to stop the reboot from happening so they can get their names back. Along the way, Jay comes across his old girlfriend Justice (played by Shannon Elizabeth) who reveals his daughter Millennium Falcon (played by Harley Quinn Smith). He promises not to reveal himself as the father, but when she finds out that the two are going to Hollywood, she makes them take her and her friends too. As the crew makes haste to southern California, Jay starts to understand what it takes to be a father while Millennium Falcon her own dreams with the Bluntman & Chronic reboot.
As far as a sequel goes, I can say that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot doesn't disappoint. When you read the plot, it does sound a lot like the old movie and the same kind of mission that these guys are one. It just so happens that Kevin Smith made this. What that means is that the movie is very meta and is self aware about the things being repeated. It's not even that they'll wink to the camera (which happens literally a couple of times), but it's all adding to the theme of growing up as the other "View Askew" movies have done. It also happens that the boys are older now.
In Kevin Smith's movies, because Jay and Silent Bob are the go-to guys for comedy, they haven't needed the same development from before. This time, Jay does go through an interesting arc on not only what's important for his daughter, but figuring out who he's supposed to be. I can't quite call it a deep explorations, but it's still done in a funny and even touching way. The other character going through her arc is Harley Quinn Smith as Millennium Falcon who may be representing the kind of fans the industry is currently catering to, but she also represents the kind of younger women that Smith used to write for. It's a fascinating look at different generational viewpoints.
Does this make the movie better then the original? I'd say the movie has two faults. One is that even though it can be fun to have a variety of other celebrities like Fred Armisen, Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, and Jason Lee, but I'd say theres maybe one too many. Some of them contribute to the plot while others feel tacked on. My other problem is that the climax does go on a little longer then it needs to. It's probably a good thing the movie does shift away abruptly (in a funny way I won't spoil).
I'll give this four Quick Stop signs out of five. It goes without saying that if you've seen Clerks or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back didn't win you over, your not gonna like this. This is made for Kevin Smith fans and those who like to laugh at the movie industry in general. It's a welcome return of the "View Askewniverse". Let's hope that Clerks III will come sooner then later. Snoochies!