Kevin Smith began his career with a series of loosely connected films featuring recurring characters and settings dubbed the View Askewniverse. Although he has made other movies and found a second career as a professional fanboy/podcaster/YouTuber, the director has been trying to return to this fan favorite cinematic universe for some time. After failed attempts to make Clerks III (which is now happening) and a Mallrats sequel/TV series, not to mention a major real-life health scare, he’s finally back with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
The first View Askewniverse movie since 2006’s Clerks II, finds Jay and Silent Bob (the R2-D2 and C-3PO of the View Askewniverse) returning to Hollywood to stop a reboot of the Bluntman and Chronic movie from getting made. You’ll have to see the film to find out if they’re successful or not, but for now the question is, are we glad that this movie got made or should we have went on our own quest to Hollywood to stop it?
If you’re expecting a hysterically good time out of Jay And Silent Bob Reboot, you’ll get just that. However, if you’re looking for more, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the hidden depths that await you upon taking the irreverent journey.
That is somewhat unexpected and pleasant to hear. If you’re familiar with Kevin Smith’s work and the View Askewniverse, or if you just watched the trailer, you were probably confident Jay and Silent Bob Reboot would make you laugh. But you probably weren’t expecting it to make you think as well and that’s exactly what Mike thought it did.
Mike wasn't the only one who enjoyed the film. Although he expressed wonder as to whether Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is even perceptible to younger audiences who aren't fans of the other film's in this universe,Variety's Owen Gleiberman enjoyed it overall. In his review he wrote:
Smith has every right to be older and wiser here, and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, with its gentle anarchy and not-quite-mock nostalgia, is a time-machine sequel that passes the time amiably enough.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a successful return to form for Kevin Smith. Though it’s a bit rough around the edges, all involved clearly came to have fun and that infectious energy is palpable for the entire runtime. It may be his raunchiest film in years, but it’s also his most emotionally intelligent.
So although Jay and Silent Bob Reboot might actually tug at your heartstrings a bit, fear not, it seems that it will still make you laugh with the kind of humor these characters are known for. Knowing the characters is actually a relevant point because according to some of the early reviews, familiarity with the View Askewniverse movies and characters is a big factor in how much enjoyment you'll get out of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
Comicbook.com's Russ Burlingame is clearly a fan and gave Jay and Silent Bob Reboot a five out of five and said:
Like Avengers: Endgame, the bar for admission may be a little high?-if you haven't seen Smith's movies, and especially if you haven't seen Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, a lot of the jokes will miss for you?-but if you understand what you're watching, you're bound to love it.
That very thing that made some critics love the film though made others less thrilled with it. IndieWire's David Ehrlich gave Jay and Silent Bob a "C" and lamented its overreliance on fan service. He said:
Either you’re so high on this particular supply that you’d happily pay to watch Smith and his celebrity friends lazily exhume their old jokes for 95 minutes, or you’re in for a bumpy night.
This point was echoed by RogerEbert.com's Simon Abrams, who gave the film 1.4 stars out of 4 and wrote:
The most uninspired and unfocused load of fan service that Smith has yet unleashed on his remaining hardcore audience.
Lastly we have ScreenRant's Sandy Schaefer, who came down in the middle with a 3-star positive review, that said:
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is an entertaining return to the View Askewniverse that celebrates the past while keeping an eye fixed on the future.
As of now, with only nine reviews counted, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot sits at a 67% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. So thus far, it's looking to be more of a critical win that a lot of the director's more recent efforts. There are a lot of reviews to go, but based on the critical reaction so far, it seems like it really comes down to whether you are a fan of Kevin Smith and the View Askewniverse or not.
If you're excited for this movie and want to see it, it sounds like there's a good chance you'll be happy you did. If you're not excited, there are plenty of other great movies playing in theaters right now.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot opens with Fathom Events screenings on October 15 & 17 before going on a roadshow tour starting on October 19. For all of this fall's biggest movies, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.