Jay & Silent Bob Reboot
A few weeks ago I noticed Kevin Smith was doing a special screening of his latest film in London with a Q&A afterward. I considered going but opted to save my money instead and just catch the movie on VOD when it was available. What I didn’t realise until it was too late was that that screening and Q&A was also simulcast to cinemas across the country including the one I go to in town! I only found out as a friend went and said how great it was.
So tonight I watched Jay & Silent Bob reboot. It was a shitty quality copy but I found myself eager to watch it and discuss it and knew I’d support the film properly later so I don’t feel too guilty about it.
Reboot is the first film in Smith’s ‘View Askewniverse’ that made him famous since Clerks 2 back in 2007. I loved those movies since the first time seeing Mallrats and they helped shape my love of film and nerdy pop culture bullshit.
This new movie, a direct sequel to Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back but in reality a sequel to that entire series of films, is nothing but a love letter to those of us who have been lifelong fans. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes know they’re not going to gain any new audience members with this one and aren’t trying to. The film is crafted to reference, honour and pay off the six movies that came before it with a healthy dose of easter eggs and nods to the duos work outside of the Askewniverse as well.
I honestly can’t be objective about a movie like this, it’s like asking me to take my emotional connection out of talking about Star Wars. I have such a bond to the movies that this one is following on from and for the creative minds behind it that it would have been more of a challenge for them to make something I don’t like!
That said though, I loved it! From the production company logo through the closing credits I had a ear to ear smile on my face the whole time. Every time a familiar character popped up, even though I knew many of them were returning, I was bouncing in my seat with excitement. Each time a new scene started and a musical cue from an older movie was played the nostalgia swelled over me.
I cried like a little bitch at one key moment that paid of a plot thread from twenty two years ago. We don’t know the ins and outs of what happened in that time and the resolution is not what many of us for years had been hoping would be the case, but the way it is handled is so much better and truer to not only the characters but to the times we live in. It seems like everyone involved in that particular scene was so happy to finally be able to film it that the smiles on their faces couldn’t have been removed even if you’d slapped a mask over them.
Sure, the film is completely and utterly playing on the audiences connection to what came before, but Kevin Smith has baked that directly into the plot. The whole thing is, by design, a wink and a nod to the people watching it about the state of movies in 2019 where ever blockbuster is a remake, reboot or a part of a larger franchise.
A lot of my generation came of age watching the early movies of Kevin Smith and his cohorts and even if you are less a fan of his output in recent years but have a soft spot in your heart for any of the older films, do yourself a solid and check out Jay & Silent Bob Reboot when it’s available in your area. There’s a reason Kevin has been able to keep making the movies he wants to make with some of the best actors in the world for twenty five years... it always seems like everyone is just having fun and that is what this movie is doing from start to finish.