JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: KEVIN SMITH / STARRING: JASON MEWES, KEVIN SMITH, HARLEY QUINN SMITH, TRESHELLE EDMOND, APARNA BRIELLE, ALICE WEN / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 29TH
It’s strange to think it’s been six years since audiences lest ventured into Kevin Smith’s famed View Askewniverse with 2013’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!, and a whopping thirteen years since we last saw a live-action outing for this world back in 2006’s Clerks II. But now, good ol’ Kev Smith has decided to finally delve back into this realm with a Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) offering that fans have been eagerly waiting to check out. Has the wait been worth it, though, or has the bong bubble burst on this pair of affable stoners by this point?
In Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, it doesn’t take long before the titular duo finds themselves tangled up in a mission to head to Hollywood (again!). This time out, Jay and Silly Bob’s actual names are at stake after said monikers have been snaffled up by Saban Films, who are behind a big-screen reboot of the Bluntman and Chronic film that was at the crux of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Desperate to get their names back, it’s off to Hollywood to put a halt to this picture. Throwing a game-changing spanner into the works, however, is that fact that Jay’s decision to pop in and see old flame Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) along the way sees it revealed that he has a daughter with his one-time Boo-Boo Kitty-Fuck. Not only that, but daughter Milly (Harley Quinn Smith) and her pals end up tagging along on their own personal mission to Hollywood.
From the outset, it may be easy to label Jay and Silent Bob Reboot as simply rehashing Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back or looking to play things out as a greatest hits of sorts. And while there are elements of Reboot that indeed serve as a greatest hits of the View Askewniverse of movies – after all, this is openly a film made for fans of Kevin Smith and the world of characters he’s created – there’s still so, so much more on offer in this picture. Sure, there are dick ‘n’ fart jokes, nods ‘n’ references, and even answers to long-pondered View Askewniverse questions, but deep down Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a heartfelt, emotional tale about parenthood and how having a child causes your own personal story to become recalibrated and redirected in a way that you maybe weren’t expecting.
In terms of performances, Messrs Mewes and Smith anchor the film in their usual charismatic and charming way, and the various cameos and supporting performances from plentiful familiar faces are so rewarding for Smith fans, but it’s young Harley Quinn Smith – who famously played baby Silent Bob in 2001’s Strike Back – who often steals the movie. As Milly, Harley is initially a bullish badass who always has a quip at hand, yet the actress also brings a brilliant sense of versatility to some of the more sombre, emotional beats of the picture. And trust us, while there are chuckles aplenty littered throughout Reboot, this is a film that will have View Askewniverse fans welling up at various points throughout. Not least in one perfectly poignant final act scene featuring the return of a fan favourite character who serves up some wise words while also updating us on their own particular story.
Featuring some of Kevin Smith’s most heartfelt moments, some of his very best jokes, and almost serving as a reward to those fans who’ve stuck with him for the past 25 years, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is everything you hoped for and more.
Oh, and trust us. Make sure you stick around all the way through the credits.