Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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There's No Rebooting the Silent or the Jay

Has everyone seen 2019's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot? According to Wikipedia, it was released theatrically as a roadshow and did pretty well. I'd heard about it at Comic Con last year but I'd forgotten about it entirely until I saw it was on Amazon, free for Prime subscribers. Obviously the View Askewniverse films aren't getting the same promotion they did fourteen years ago when the last one, Clerks II, came out. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot finds Smith returning to the material not much better or worse he was. Much like the movie it riffs off of, 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, it's stronger in the first half and gets overloaded with silliness in the second. This is because Smith is still a good writer of jokey dialogue. As someone who hasn't watched one of Smith's movies in quite a long time, it was a pleasant homecoming for me.

One of the really refreshing things about it, despite spending so many years being basically a very high end clerk for the likes of imdb or cable TV networks, his screenplay still feels honest. Jay (Jason Mewes) is still a homophobe who's also grossed out by motherhood and kids--like an idiot from the streets really would be. Mewes still has the ability to come off as a real hoodlum, too, with that sense of idiotic innocence that makes you love him. The film eschews political correctness in more ways than that, though. When Jay meets a Muslim girl (Aparna Brielle) from overseas, he immediately cries, "Terrorist!" and she says, frightened, "Where?!" before mentioning her name does so happen to be "Jihad". But in telling her back story of a brother who tried to murder her for a trivial reason, the humour comes from how comparatively good are the average American lives Smith's protagonists used to gripe about.

The film features the usual array of celebrity cameos and former cohorts of Smith, the two standouts being Rosario Dawson and Jason Lee, the latter reprising his role as Brody from Mall Rats.

Just like in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, he runs a comic book shop called Brody's Secret Stash and fills in the boys on the state of the movie industry, in this case on reboots. Now his store's located in the mall, which he says he's done for the cheaper rent because, like real life American malls, this one's dying. He says the only trouble he has is in watching out for Mall Rats--when Jay takes alarm at the idea of kids being around, Brody says, "No, I mean the actual rats we have running around this shithole mall." I was reminded again how good Jason Lee is and how criminal it is he hasn't been in much the past few years, especially since Ryan Reynolds lifted his whole schtick from Lee.

Rosario Dawson appears not as the character she played in Clerks II but as the wife of Jay's love interest from Strikes Back, Justice Faulcon (Shannon Elizabeth). The drama around Jay turning out to be a father isn't all that interesting, though Smith's daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, is surprisingly good as Jay's daughter, Millennium Faulcon. But Rosario Dawson, seemingly without effort, breathes a lot of life into her brief scene. I'm so looking forward to her take on Ahsoka Tano.

Chris Hemsworth also makes an amusing cameo and, of course, Ben Affleck appears, still coming off as oddly rough edged and sullen as in his Batman years. His lines are an amusing string of references to his role as Bruce Wayne.

This one may only be for the old Kevin Smith fans out there but it's not a bad movie.

Twitter Sonnet #1344

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Tags: comedy, jay and silent bob reboot, kevin smith, movies
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