‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’: Kevin Smith Strikes again with Self-referential Comeback Clone
Kevin Smith’s Sequel follows a Decade of Offscreen Exploits
It’s been ten years since filmmaker Kevin Smith introduced us to Jay and Silent Bob in his 1994 indie cult-classic “Clerks.” Known for lazing outside of stores, smoking marijuana, and pondering the world, over the past twenty-five years, the pot-head duo has become a staple of Smith’s View Askewniverse, the fictional universe in which all of his films take place. Since “Clerks,” Jay and Silent Bob—respectfully played by Jason Mewes and Smith himself—have appeared in “Clerks 2,” “Mallrats,” and “Chasing Amy.” They even received their own movie, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” in 2001.
Today, Kevin Smith is perhaps better known for his stand up comedy, pop-culture podcasts, and transmedia producing than he is for his movies. While he has some recent TV credits for directing episodes of the DCEU’s “Supergirl” and “The Flash,” it has been over three years since he last directed a feature film. That film was titled “Yoga Hosers,” and it received abhorrent reviews.
Still, perhaps more so than any other filmmaker, Kevin Smith is well aware of his artistic pitfalls and takes immense pleasure in mocking himself through his work. Nowhere does he do this better than in Jay and Silent Bob segments, which are filled with self-referential moments and humorous commentaries on pop-culture. With today’s audiences showing an appreciation for conglomerate media and throwback characters, Jay and Silent Bob would certainly have a lot of material to work with, and their return to the screen would likely be accepted with open arms.
For those reasons exactly, Jay and Silent Bob are finally coming back to the big screen together. Coming out Tuesday, Mewes and Smith are reprising their iconic roles in the new Kevin Smith directed “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.”
If you exclude the 2013 animated movie, “Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!” it has been over a decade since the two characters appeared in a film together. “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” came out over eighteen years ago. In that film, Jay and Bob went to Hollywood to sabotage a movie being made about their comic book counterparts, Bluntman and Chronic. After a wacky adventure filled with countless celebrity encounters, the two characters get their deserved royalties and return to their New Jersey roots.
Low-brow 90s Comedy, Loud and Proud with Star Powered Cameos
As the title of “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” may suggest, this follow-up project will follow an almost identical plot. Again, a Los Angeles studio is trying to rip off the leading characters, and again, they travel to the West Coast to take back what they deserve. We cannot really criticize the movie for being unoriginal, though, for it is purposefully redundant, openly parodying the lack of new content and the constant remakes that contemporary Hollywood churns out.
Director Kevin Smith has been very forward about this in interviews. In his usual self-deprecating way, he does not promote the new film by championing it as a work of art. Instead, he candidly sells it as a raunchy stoner comedy that nobody asked for and was made with no prestigious intent. At the end of the movie’s trailer, a character played by Jason Biggs even states on a Comic-Con Panel that the reboot “sucks” and laughingly asks, “who’s directing this [explicit] anyway? Kevin [explicit]ing Smith?”
Thus, there is really no excuse for taking “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” too seriously. Nevertheless, with cameos from the likes of Matt Damon, Chris Hemsworth, Ben Affleck, and Val Kilmer, the movie cannot help but get us a little bit excited. Furthermore, as Smith is a comic book aficionado, we look forward to seeing what kinds of jokes and scenarios he will make up regarding the superhero genre’s current domination in Hollywood.
Roadshow to Drum up Support will follow Initial Release
Also joining the cast for “Reboot” is Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, who comically plays Jay’s daughter in the film. Her inclusion in the duo’s journey across America will pave the way for additional humor—both metahumor about family and parenting humor, as the slacker weed-inhaling Jay will now be a father.
“Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” will have its world premiere in Los Angeles, at which time Smith and Mewes will also receive Stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and get their hands ceremoniously engraved in cement before the TCL Chinese Theater. The movie will then have a limited theatrical release over the weekend before Kevin Smith does a roadshow tour of the film, screening it in different cities around the United States. Smith will attend all of these screenings and stick around for Q&A sessions afterwards. The tour starts on October 19th in Smith’s home state of New Jersey, and ends on February 26th in New Orleans. It will also have a few events overseas.
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