Jay And Silent Bob Reboot - Review
Kevin Smith made a shared cinematic universe that featured a Stan Lee cameo long before Kevin Feige ever did it with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Smith's "ViewAskewniverse" was a series of screwball stoner comedies, that seemingly ended with Clerks II. But everything that is old is new again, and Smith returned to his roots with the very meta Jay And Silent Bob Reboot.
Reboot is a direct sequel to 2001's Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, it is a film that makes fun of sequels, remakes, and reboots while being all 3 at the same time. While the film is predictably funny, it is also surprisingly heartfelt. Art reflects life, and Smith seems to have a new appreciation for it after his heart attack.
The cameo-laced road trip adventure has a lot of depth for a movie about two stoners making dick and fart jokes. It is everything that ViewAskewniverse fans clamor for, with a rich layer of emotional depth to boot.
The film does have the same loose structure as Strike Back, but becomes a very sweet story about parents and their children, about legacy, and what's truly important in life. Jason Mewes gives the most nuanced performance of his career, and carries the movie on his back. He is in almost every scene in the movie, and does some wonderful emotional work.
While it is put on front street that this is indeed a sequel to Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith manages to sequelize Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma at the same time. This feels like the ViewAskewniverse's version of Avengers: Endgame. He even managed to bring characters from Zack and Miri Make A Porno and Yoga Hosers into the mix. If that wasn't enough, he was able to give all of his various podcast cohosts cameos, and even made "Kevin Smith" a character in the film. Reboot is truly his legacy, and is a better gauge of his humanity than any film before it.
Reboot was even able to mend relationships. Ben Affleck was a staple of Kevin Smith flicks in the 90's and early 2000s. But they grew apart. The film was able to get them to reconcile. Not only that, but it provided for the most beautiful part of the entire movie. Affleck's scene is by far the best part of the film. It ties the entire movie together, has the funniest jokes, the best callbacks to Strike Back, and is the emotional catalyst for the climax. It is amazing that it wasn't originally part of the script. The movie would be much weaker without it.
The Matt Damon scene was a bit of an odd transition, but it was nice to get some Dogma representation in the film, which might be Smith's best movie. The scene opens the door for some sort of follow up if Smith ever wanted to explore that avenue.
Some of the meta "Kevin Smith as himself" stuff didn't quite work, but because this movie represents his legacy, it is forgivable. The end credits offer a wonderful tribute to Stan Lee, a big part of Smith's story, who would have been in the movie had he not passed away before it was filmed.
Jay and Silent Bob have given Smith so much, so it was nice to see Smith give something back to those characters. They are in a very good place right now. If more ViewAskewniverse flicks ever happen, it will be nice for other characters to get the same sort of treatment.
With Reboot Smith provides an entertaining, heartfelt, sincere, hilarious, star-studded, nostalgic, crowd-pleasing adventure. It was a fun movie experience to have.
Jay And Silent Bob Reboot will be available when Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes come through your neck of the woods with the Reboot Roadshow tour.