18 years after Kevin Smith brought his entire “View Askewniverse” together for Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, he has written and directed a sequel called (what else?) Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. It’s another road trip between Smith’s Silent Bob and his “hetero lifemate” Jay, played by Jason Mewes, but this time they’re bringing Jay’s illegitimate 18-year-old daughter Milly (played by Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn) along with her diverse group of female friends
Longtime fans of Smith’s earlier movies may have already seen the movie on Tuesday, but if you’re wondering if it’s worth plunking down your hard-earned wages, I’ve picked out a few of the reasons why you might want to get off your couch, open your front door, put the keys in the ignition, realize you forgot the keys in your house, go back in to get them, etc. etc. etc.
This isn’t a traditional review per sé, but if you haven’t seen Jay and Silent Bob Reboot yet, and you’re worried about SPOILERS, then this might not be the best feature to read about movie. If you’re a long-time Kevin Smith fan that might be doubtful that he’s back to the greatness of his early days, then read on.
The Kevin Smith panel at “Chronic-Con”
Anyone who has spent time in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con waiting for Marvel Studios’ panel on Saturday evening might have gotten caught in the wave of people rushing to get the hell out of Hall H before Kevin Smith’s panel starts. Okay, I’m half-kidding, but Smith has been given a plum post-Marvel spot for quite a few years, and that contributes greatly to the scene where Jay, Silent Bob, Milly and her friends arrive at Chronic-Con to confront Smith about this Bluntman and Chronic reboot. I actually liked how Smith used a lot of the signage and visuals of the actual Comic-Con in San Diego to create this part of the movie, which reminded me a bit of the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost comedy Paul, which also recreated Comic-Con rather than trying to film at it.
That Bluntman and Chronic reboot
Without spoiling too much, the actors who play the new Bluntman and Chronic in Kevin Smith’s planned reboot are played by two actors better known for playing other superheroes, and the only hint that I’ll give you is that they’re both DC heroes. The teaser trailer for this reboot is shown during Kevin Smith’s Chronic-Con panel, and it contributes to some of the shots taken at DC’s darker comic movies of late.
Okay, that’s a bit of a fake-out since Margot Robbie doesn’t actually make a cameo in the movie as her DCU character, but I’m actually talking about Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, who has a much bigger and better role in this than her previous movies with her father. Her Milly brings so much heart and humanity to the characters while she’s just as foul-mouthed as her real father (Smith) and movie father (Mewes). I’ll have an interview with her soon, talking about the acting classes she’s taken since Yoga Hosers, and it shows!
A short but sweet cameo by the “Comic Book Men”
Fans of the AMC show which is no longer on the air might like seeing the guys that entertained us at midnight on Sundays with their comic shop exploits. They only make a quick cameo on a Chronic-Con panel, but I’m sure there’s a lot more to that scene that will hopefully show up on DVD/Blu-ray extras.
More View Askewniverse cameos than you can shake a stick at
Probably the biggest lip service that Smith gives to his fans in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is to bring back a lot of characters from his earlier movies, and not just Jay and Silent Bob or some of the characters from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. You’ll also see characters from Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, Chasing Amy and even Yoga Hosers (or maybe Tusk?). No, J-Lo didn’t make a cameo as her Jersey Girl character, but I guess when she and Ben Affleck broke up, he got Kevin Smith. Also, that movie isn’t really a part of the “View Askewniverse” but Lopez would have proven she has a good sense of humor by returning. (There’s some Oscar buzz for her performance in Hustlers, so maybe she’s trying to avoid blemishing that with an appearance in another Kevin Smith movie.) The Chasing Amy segment will bring great joy to the fans of what I still consider Smith’s best film.
Smith and Ben Affleck take a lot of jabs at “Batfleck” and Justice League
Ben Affleck knows full well that Batman and DCU fans had issues with his three movies as Batman, starting with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – just writing that title out makes you wonder how that got past the people in marketing – then continuing with a cameo in Suicide Squad and then the tragically awful Justice League. I actually lost count at the number of times the characters – including Affleck in his return as Holden McNeil from Chasing Amy – takes a potshot at the dark direction and eventual over-correction Warners took with those movies to try to make a Justice League movie work. But it shows that Affleck still has a sense of humor, which is awesome.
Chris Hemsworth and Loki… but not the Tom Hiddleston one
I’m sure that might throw a few people off, but not those who have seen Smith’s 1999 movie Dogma or Thor: Ragnarok, where another actor played Loki. That’s actually a good Jeopardy question – “What actor played two different Lokis in two different shared universes?” Figure it out? Hemsworth’s cameo is a little odder, as it ties into that Chronic-Con mentioned above, and it’s actually a (Spoiler) hologram. Still fun and quite funny.
It might be Stan Lee’s last appearance in a movie EVER
I don’t want to spoil it too much, but you’ll want to stick through the end credits to see one of the last film appearances by Stan “The Man” Lee, who famously appeared in Smith’s 1995 film Mallrats and was even seen reading the script to it in this year’s Captain Marvel, which was set in the ‘90s. You might be laughing through most of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but when you see Lee at the end, you might very well tear up quite a bit.