There was a time when Kevin Smith was one of the hottest young filmmakers on the scene. His debut movie Clerks was an indie movie darling and his followups like Mallrats and Chasing Amy were embraced by audiences even if they weren't always critical successes. However, it's been a while since any of Kevin Smith's movies have been major hits with audiences or critics.
It seems that the idea that Kevin Smith's movies aren't good anymore is something that Kevin Smith has heard before. In fact, he's even been told by some why this has supposedly happened, that his movies got bad after he started his family. For what it's worth Smith doesn't dispute that such a thing might have happened, he simply doesn't care if it did. As the writer director recently said on Twitter...
It's certainly true that many great artists have created their art by channeling their pain. Kevin Smith says that if that's what he needs to make great movies again, he's perfectly happy never doing that, because he's happy with the life that he has now with his family.
Kevin Smith's initial run of movies, the tangentially related Clerks through Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, helped build Kevin Smith a lot of adoring fans. However, his recent efforts, like Yoga Hosers and Tusk have largely...not done that. They may not be great movies, but there are very few directors who have never made bad movies.
However, Kevin Smith is still a very popular personality, he's mostly still famous simply for being Kevin Smith. He spends his time recording podcasts and making live appearances. He's also been directing a significant amount of television, including shows like The Flash and Supergirl.
We will have an interesting opportunity to see if Kevin Smith still has "it" coming up here very soon. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot will see the return of the characters and the style that brought Smith to prominence in the first place. In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the title duo attempted to sabotage the production of a film based on their comic book superhero alter egos. Now, with the increased popularity of superhero movies and reboots, those characters are being rebooted, and so Jay and Silent Bob will once again try to stop the movie from happening.
If you're one who believes that Clerks 2 was Smith's last good movie, then maybe the issue is that he has particular skill with those sorts of movies and characters. He hasn't made a movie in his "View Akewniverse" since Clerks 2, so maybe that's all that has been missing all this time.
If the new movie works, that's great, and if it doesn't it sounds like the last person who is going to worry about it is Kevin Smith.