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Jay & Silent Bob Reboot Review: A Wonderful Return to Form for Kevin Smith

Jay & Silent Reboot
Photo Credit: Saban Films

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot finds the smokers in crime (Kevin Smith, Jay Mewes) on the big screen for the first time in 13 years since Clerks II (unless you count that weird Drake music video). The film finds the duo traveling across the country trying to stop Hollywood from rebooting their superhero epic Bluntman and Chronic and along the way they reunite with old pals, flames, and more.

Say what you will about Kevin Smith, most people who hear the name have an opinion on the man as: an actor, director, podcaster, performer, entrepreneurial pop culture guru, New Jersey native, etc. But even with as impressive a resume that he may wield, most would argue that his feature films have taken a step back from the days of Clerks and Dogma. Since 2010, Smith has only helmed four films like Cop Out, Red State, Tusk, and Yoga Hosers — films that are quite divisive, some have been hard to defend and some have been unwatchable.

Smith’s interests (and some would say focus) shifted outside of film over the last few years. He has lent his talents to a flock of podcasts and live performances, shows on AMC, hosting and guesting on panel shows, as well as a successful stint directing CW Network shows such as The Flash and Supergirl.

But 2019 has brought us a different Kevin Smith. Following a major heart attack the director has taken a step back to look at his 25 year career and as a result has produced, Jay & Silent Bob Reboot — a fan service treat that would even give a film like Avengers: Endgame a run for their money. Smith has reassembled his most iconic characters, creates a highly effective new chapter in the View Askew Universe, and manages to muscle a strong, cameo-filled cast that spews more sex jokes than a National Lampoon film. I would go as far as to say you might even hate yourself for laughing at times for how low the film goes for a laugh (and succeeds at doing so). While the film does feel a little uneven at times — due to a sometimes unsteady mix of comedic beats and wonderfully executed dramatic and heartfelt moments — the film (especially for Smith fans) is still a pure joy to experience.

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is truly a “best of” Kevin Smith collection rolled into 95 minutes. Nearly every line is a callback and it’s almost impossible to catch them all (which I would assume was done by design for repeat viewings). Definitely go back through his archive of (especially Clerks, Dogma, Chasing Amy, and Mallrats) in order to appreciate the rapid fire and referential quips the characters spit at each other.

This film is truly like going down the Kevin Smith toy aisle and watching him play in the sand again with the cast of characters he created throughout his career. It’s hard to ignore the fact that you can tell everyone involved is enjoying their moment on screen. Don’t get it wrong, this movie isn’t just one big in-joke. Fans will dig Smith’s return to form with his witty dialogue commentating on pop culture while still providing new inside jokes for films to follow.

This is a spoiler-free review, due to the fact that the film is in such limited release and I do not want to ruin the moments of how or why characters return to the film. Part of the joy is waiting to see the lunacy of how they are brought back. This much I can tell you — there are some wonderful payoffs in Reboot, stemming from amazing catch-ups with fan favorites as well as unexpected conclusions you never knew you wanted.

Jason Mewes gives a career best performance in the film especially when he’s acting alongside Universe newcomer Millennium “Milly” Falcon (Harley Quinn-Smith, Kevin Smith’s real-life daughter). Mewes is super impressive displaying a range of slinging foul-mouthed,  raunchy jokes to expressing realistic pain and sadness when needed. Harley Quinn Smith is wonderful in the role of Milly who turns out to be Jay’s long lost daughter (not a spoiler). Their connection on screen is undeniable.

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is nearly a home run. However, questionable plot twists which have very little pay off would have been better served on the cutting room floor, rather than the big screen. But, let’s remember, this is Jay and Silent Bob and story isn’t what the main focus tends to be. Outside of some story issues, the characters you’ve grown to adore, carry this film all the way to the credits without many hiccups or bores.

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is a wonderful return to form for Smith.

Rating: 8.5/10

Jay & Silent Bob Reboot is playing in select theaters around the United States and is being shown at the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow. Click here for more info.


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