By Kevin Hoskinson
It’s been thirteen years since they last graced the big screen with their presence in “Clerks 2”, and now Jay and Silent Bob are back in Jay And Silent Bob Reboot, the latest offering from filmmaker Kevin Smith. The film comes a little over a year after his brush with death, and it’s loaded with a great cast, a surprisingly emotional story, fantastic cameos, and plenty of fan service. It’s a film about growing up and moving on, and it’s a welcome return to the world that he started so many years ago.
When Saban Films plans a big-budget reboot of “Bluntman and Chronic,” the movie studio tricks Jay and Silent Bob into signing their names away, meaning they can never identify as Jay and Silent Bob ever again. While meeting with Brodie Bruce at his comic book shop, the two find out about the reboot and learn that a massive action scene is going to filmed at the annual fan convention Chronic-Con in Los Angeles. With their names literally on the line, the hetero life mates hit the road once again to prevent a film being made that will tarnish their good names.
Along the way, Jay meets the daughter he never knew he had, Millenium Falcon. Her and her best friend, Soapy, force the duo to let them tag along on their quest to Chronic-Con, but they also have motives of their own. By the time they get to Los Angeles, they have a van full of unexpected passengers, as well as a new perspective on life and what it means to be a family.
Written and Directed by Kevin Smith, this film brings it back to where it all began. The View Askewniverse is the name of the connected universe of movies he made featuring Jay and Silent Bob and mostly taking place in New Jersey (referencing his production company “View Askew”). After making a string of films that tested the waters of other genres and styles, he has returned to the Askewniverse, and the results couldn’t have been better.
Although this film is about the titular duo, there are so many great characters that fill out this world that it’s nearly impossible to place the bulk of the story on two characters. Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) are a lot of fun to be around, but the real emotional arc of the story comes from Jay and his daughter Millineum (Harley Quinn Smith). I was completely blown away by the chemistry between the two and their performances. There are more than a couple of scenes in the film that will almost certainly bring you to tears, and that is all attributed to their incredible acting skills. Harley especially knocks it out of the park, she is an amazing actress, and I look forward to seeing where she goes in the future. There are also several stars returning from previous films, including Jason Lee, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Shannon Elizabeth, Brian O’Halloran, and other surprises I won’t ruin. It’s great to see familiar faces again, and it’s one of the exciting aspects of the film.
With this film, Smith’s talent as a writer really shines. He places layer upon layer of emotion into the story, which makes it feel textured and authentic. It is something he has always been a master of, but here he really embraces the duality of his styles and blends them together in a seamless way. He does this by placing the heart and emotion of a film like Chasing Amy and matching them with the tone of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, creating something completely unique and special. And for a film that retreads familiar territory, with its plot almost mirroring the previous Jay and Bob movie, it still has a lot to say and doesn’t feel repetitive or unnecessary.
Smith has released his “Avengers: Endgame” into the world. It’s a film that ties up loose ends, closes storylines, but still manages to leave it open for the future. If I had one criticism for the film, it’s that much like Endgame; it relies on whether you have prior knowledge of previous films. Although you will still enjoy it for what it is, you will miss out on great references and inside jokes if you haven’t checked out his other movies. And if this is the case, you need to find all of his Askew films (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks 2) and watch them immediately! Trust me; you won’t regret it. And then go watch this film when it comes to a town near you!
Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Kevin Hoskinson is a writer with a deep-seeded love for movies, comic books, television and the paranormal. From humble beginnings working the box office at his local movie theater, he’s worked his way to becoming a humble family man and professional bug exterminator. Growing up, he wanted to become an astronaut, a Ghostbuster, a dinosaur, and a Disney animator before he found his passion for writing as a teen. He studied film at Los Angeles Valley College with an emphasis on screenwriting and film criticism. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two kids. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter @Kevin_Hoskinson, and Instagram @kevinhoskinson.