I love Jay and Silent Bob… please don’t get me wrong. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is one of my favorite View Askew movies and I’ve just always loved the characters, but it appears that, after a while, every franchise devolves into repetition, self-parody, and fan service and this franchise is no different. I guess I should have seen it coming as it’s been going that way for a while with Kevin Smith’s movies, but Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is the king of self-referential comedy… this is a movie for the fans and for the fans only.
Which is fine. If that’s the direction that they wanted to go, that’s fine. I’ve loved movies that have done this – such as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, for example, so it shouldn’t bother me… but it does. It does because there was something truly heartfelt and, dare I say, more interesting than callbacks to Clerks and Kevin Smith playing himself.
Jay finds out that he’s a dad and his 18 year old daughter unknowingly joins them on a roadtrip to, once again, shut down a Bluntman and Chronic movie.
Okay, first of all… The redo of Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back irks me. It’s basically the same story, almost beat for beat. I thought that, when the daughter was introduced, it would derail the retelling and go in a different direction and, while it does offer a new layer, the story remains basically the same.
The best parts of the movie, I thought, were the more dramatic ones where Jay doesn’t know how to deal with this teenage girl in his life. I know it’s strange to say that the best parts of a Jay and Silent Bob movie were the dramatic ones, but it’s true… watching Jay process this information and try and mentor his daughter without letting his daughter know who he is because he promised the mother he wouldn’t tell was great. Jason Mewes and Harley Quinn Smith have a chemistry together that is undeniable and there is real familial affection when they share scenes together. I just think that if the movie would have focused more on this and less on the gags and callbacks, it would have been better. It would have felt more important. Now, it just feels like the reboots that the movie was trying to make fun of.
It’s not a terrible movie. As a Jay and Silent Bob fan, I did enjoy it though I do find the self-referential humor tiring and, seeing Kevin Smith play himself was surprisingly lame which is sad because I know he intended the part for Stan Lee. I just felt like the movie could have done more and said more… been more important than what it was. I can’t help but think that it really never had the intention to be, which is also disappointing. You’d think in a movie about two middle-aged stoners, a little character development would finally happen… but, then again, maybe that would defeat the entire purpose of Jay and Silent Bob.