emilyrugburn’s review published on Letterboxd:
Let me start with pasting part of a tribute I wrote on IG tonight: 18 years ago, I was working at my first job - at an AMC theatre in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania - when Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back came to town. I’d already been a big Kevin Smith fan for a few years by then, ever since a very awkward viewing of Chasing Amy with my mom and step dad (yikes). This man and his films (and his partner in crime Jason Mewes) have meant the world to me for more than half my life now. So tonight, I’m very happy about the fact that Kevin lived to tell another tale from the Viewaskewniverse!
It was everything I wanted it to be, with one key upped ante - real, dramatic acting beats! And not just acting by prestige guest stars who do that kind of thing on the regular, nope - brace yourselves: Real, dramatic acting from Jason Mewes!
I know!! What???
Nostalgia is a hell of a (mostly bad) drug, sure, and sympathy for someone who almost died (which really applies to both Kevin and Jay) is a bit of a drug too, so trust me when I say I’ve factored in those influences and can still step outside of them and say my dude Jay Mewes actually made me tear up TWICE in this movie just because he had the skills to do so! It also helps that his scene partner both times was Harley Quinn Smith, who is already proving to have serious dramatic chops and carries a great deal of this film on her capable shoulders. She is EXCELLENT, and more than guarantees the Smith name will be alive and well in cinema for a long time.
Beyond that greatest of pleasant surprises, what I expected to be there was there in droves, son. More cameos than you can even process with your brain (including a few Kevin didn’t ruin on instagram)? Got em! A level of authorial meta self awareness that accepts and nails the challenge of scaling and hopping over the already towering wall of meta self awareness that permeates literally all pop culture in the 2010s? Got it! A few unsettling “yikes do they look old’s” along with a couple “wow they somehow still look amazing’s”? Got em! Inclusive language and diverse characters that problematic moderate white boys like to pretend were never a part of Kevin Smith’s filmography even tho he’s literally been woke since the very beginning of his film career? Got it and you love to see it!! Weed humor that I will just ignore because even tho I own over 500 vinyl records and eat pizza at least twice a week, I’m somehow not a stoner? There it is! Some Marvel Studios worship that will prompt me to engage my Iron Cognitive Dissonance so I can ignore it and keep on enjoying the movie? You bet! (The Marvel jokes were some of the best, tho.)
Add all that up, and factor in the aforementioned nostalgia AND dramatic plot points I didn’t see coming, and also let our gang fight the KkK in a scene that also features Silent Bob’s best ever cinematic silence break??
Well, it all leaves me so happy I could just walk over to the nearest convenience store and lean against that motherfucker.
(Added to 2019 Favorites)