Back in the director’s chair for his first feature film following his near-fatal heartache last year, Kevin Smith delivers a hilarious and oddly heartwarming sequel to 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in true View Askewniverse fashion.
Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) learn that Hollywood is in the middle of rebooting the 2001 Bluntman and Chronic film they failed to stop being made, so they set off on another adventure to California in an attempt to stop a vital scene of the reboot being filmed, thereby stopping the film from being released. On their journey, Jay spots his ex-girlfriend Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) on the TV and decides to pay her a visit. Justice reveals Jay is the father of her 18-year-old daughter, Millenium Falcon (Harley Quinn Smith) but she doesn’t think Jay is ready to be a dad and asks him not to tell her. Learning that Jay and Silent Bob are heading to California, Millenium talks her way into tagging along for the ride with her friends so they can pull off a secret mission.
Reboot has a lot, and I mean A LOT, of familiar faces that will get fans of the View Askewniverse all giddy, but Ben Affleck’s return as Holden McNeil is by far my favourite returning actor/character in the film. Not only is does Affleck get to be meta as hell, delivering lines of dialogue such as “they’re gone girl” , “we’re the just us league” , and “Arrrr go fuck yourself”, but it feels like Smith gave him some of the best and most heartfelt lines of the film, which he delivers superbly. Matt Damon makes a quick return as Loki from Dogma (1999), and whilst this cameo is a little jarring in its placement in the film, it was great to see Loki again. Other familiar faces include Jason Lee back as Brodie Bruce, Rosario Dawson, Brian O’Halloran, Joe Manganiello, Val Kilmer, Melissa Benoist, and Joey Lauren Adams.
Harley Quinn Smith’s performance was one of the biggest surprises of the film for me. Admittedly, I haven’t seen her in much (you couldn’t pay me to watch Yoga Hosers), but she is the standout of this film. There’s one scene in particular when she’s talking to Jay about how her group of friends met that brought tears to my eyes because you could just feel the heartbreak and desperation in her delivery.
Smith’s super-meta approach to the whole thing plays in the film’s favour. and even allow him to poke fun at himself in the process. Whilst most of his films have never been made to be taken too seriously anyway, this one just takes its silliness and runs with it. If you watch this with no prior-knowledge to Smith’s little cinematic universe then I would put money on the fact you’re not going to enjoy this film in the slightest. It’s essentially Kevin Smith writing a love letter to his own films, revisiting characters we most likely won’t see again and giving them a nice send-off, and introducing new ones that have every chance of taking centre stage in his next films.
Smith has made no secret that this film’s plot is a combination of sequels he didn’t think he’d ever get the chance to make, such as Clerks 3, so this film really does have little callbacks to his View Askewniverse films, and in all honesty would be a great finale for Smith’s little cinematic universe. Smith’s very own Endgame if you will. However, during a short pre-recorded Q&A that played after the credits, Smith has confirmed that his next two films will be Clerks 3 and Mallrats 2 -so thankfully we get to see more of the colourful characters that have been part of our lives for 25 years.
Reboot is all I was hoping it would be and then some.
Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Cast: Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Melissa Benoist, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson, Joe Manganiello, Justin Long, Chris Hemsworth, Harley Quinn Smith