Jay and Silent Bob Reboot ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Kevin Smith has done it again.  This time, he did something no one was even imagining: he’s lowered the bar to new depths and turned a movie into a podcast.   

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a quarter-assed effort at entertainment.  It is built around the simple trope of a daughter who never knew the father who never knew she existed, until now.  It’s a story we’ve heard many times, and progresses expectedly.  The only reason it is being told again is as an excuse to have fun making another Jay and Silent Bob movie. 

This movie has a lot of self-aware meta content.  So much meta that it loses the presence of being a fictional story and becomes a documentary.  It’s like a ‘where are they now?’ story for both the characters of the Mallrats world and the actors who play them.  The lines are blurred between the characters and the actors, which is natural considering that these roles hardly diverge from their real-life personas.  As has become typical with comic book movies, it is loaded with cameos.  Typical to a Kevin Smith movie, the cameos are all the people you’d expect, all the people you already associate with his work.  The King of Cameos, Stan Lee, has a cameo, as himself, as Stan Lee doing a cameo for this movie.  It is like a fan going up to him at a convention and having him appear in their YouTube video.  Then that fan uses the footage in feature film.  

It really is that lazy.  It’s a fan film where the artist being honored, and the fan making the homage, are the same person.   It’s like he took the dvd bonus features of his life and expanded them into 90 minutes, glued together with nostalgia to an off-the-rack story foundation from Hallmark.  

You could say that it was done this way intentionally, as a commentary on reboot culture.   It’s not trying to be good and fresh.  It’s deliberately stale and reheated.  A microwaved tv-dinner of cinema.   That’s the joke.  It’s satire of a middle-aged film crew spoofing their own early works.  For no point other than because they can, because it’s easy, and because they’ll have a good time doing it.   

They surely had more fun making it than I had watching it, but as intellectual content goes, it was fairly painless.  This isn’t a movie to watch for its storytelling, but for its merit as a chapter of the Kevin Smith life story.   It’s a documentary disguised as a comedy; the content you’d normally get in a podcast delivered in the form of a fictional rom-com.