Written and directed by Kevin Smith, “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” is a comedy sequel to 2001’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back!”, but it’s also an update of sorts on the whole View Askew Universe of films that the “Clerks” movies originated back in the early 1990’s. This time around, infamous ne’er-do-wells Jay and Silent Bob are roped into traveling cross-country from New Jersey to Hollywood so they can stop the reboot of “Bluntman V Chronic” from using their likenesses (again). If that plot sounds overly familiar to “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” then you’ve got an idea where the comedy in this film is forged from.
Having been a fan of Kevin Smith’s work for some time now, I knew walking into the theater that “Reboot” would most likely be a funny self-aware jab at Hollywood’s never-ending remixing of popular IPs, maybe a few fun celebrity cameos, at least of those who could tolerate the cavalcade of genitalia jokes that comes with the territory. What I did not expect was that there was legitimate heart at the core of the movie, I won’t spoil it, but it was a nice surprise. Comedies like these typically work for me, but I happen to appreciate silly, dumb, immature humor, and crass wordplay and I’m well aware of all of the View Askew universe’s little easter eggs (Like Ralph Garman’s quick cameo, Smith’s podcast partner for “Hollywood Babble-On”), I think I even spotted Andy McElfresh from “Edumacation” in the background of one scene. Anyways, my point being that I fundamentally understand if these movies don’t work for you, but Kevin Smith is a personal hero to me in the filmmaking world, I may not always love everything he makes, but god damn does he go for the gold and he just never gives up.
What I found most fascinating about the film was the third act in particular. Smith may not have always been a consumer of marijuana when writing these characters in the past- but this is the first View Askew film since he’s began partaking in the herb- and the difference in depiction is notable. It was as if he took the whole of his crafted universe and meshed it all together, giving updates on everything from the aftermath of “Dogma” (My favorite Kevin Smith film) to tying up loose ends from “Chasing Amy” and nods to the “Clerks” films, even “Mallrats”. This addition to the View Askew universe felt right at home with previous films and yet expanded on these characters’ emotional depth, the sway of nostalgia, and a subtle sense of maturity emerging from those you expect least.
Oh, and holy guacamole the cameos! If you thought “Strikes Back” had a surprising amount of celebrity cameos, then this one will really blow your hair back. I won’t reveal any because spotting them and enjoying the ride are some of the best aspects of the movie. I’m happy to see Kevin Smith getting another film out there, and this is one of his best in years, in my opinion. I sincerely hope this film does well enough for him to gain leverage to finally make his “Clerks 3”, I need that film- No, America needs that film!
Final Score: 37 Snoogans… in a row