03rd Feb2020

‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’ VOD Review (Rakuten TV)

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Harley Quinn Smith, Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, Diedrich Bader, Melissa Benoist, Brian O’Halloran, Shannon Elizabeth, Mickey Gooch Jr., Val Kilmer, Jason Lee, Aparna Brielle, Ming Chen | Written and Directed by Kevin Smith

jay-bob-reboot-dvd-cover

My second occasion using Rakuten TV to rent a movie was with this flick, a flick I’ve been anticipating since it was first announced and caused me to actually write a whole “Road to Reboot” series here on Nerdly. I’ve been a Kevin Smith fan since the 90s and was excited to check out his return to the View Askewniverse with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Rakuten TV is so simple to use, so streamlined and easy, that it was cool to just jump onto the website and rent the film I wanted with just a few clicks. The picture was flawless, there was no buffering or messing around, it was as good as any streaming service quality I’ve experienced before.

The movie, ah the movie. This is about as meta as you’re going to get, and that isn’t a shocker. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, all the way back in 2001, was a meta film before meta was really done all that much. This is a lot like that film, but with an updated cast, a new major plot involving Jay, and the pop-culture references of modern day (along with plenty from the past, and a bunch of Kevin Smith film references thrown in for good measure).

Written and Directed by Smith, this is a love-letter to the world he created all the way back in 1994 with Clerks, and we revisit many of the characters from Smith’s previous films, from Ben Affleck’s Holden McNeil and Joey Lauren Adams’ Alyssa Jones from Chasing Amy to Brian O’Halloran’s Dante Hicks from Clerks and Clerks 2 (among other Smith flicks) all the way down to many people we associate with Kevin Smith, such as cameos from the guys from Comic Book Men, and random celebrities from Smith-film past, such as Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek. Matt Damon pops in as Loki from Dogma and cracks a “Bourne” related joke. Justin Long reprises his role of Brandon St. Randy from Smith’s Zack & Miri Make a Porno, and there’s a bunch more surprise cameos who you’ll know from the world of pop culture. I won’t spoil all of them though, because it’s quite fun when these faces show up from time to time.

Kevin Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, gets a fair sized part as Milly, Jay’s estranged daughter. That is a big part of what Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is all about. Sure, there’s the tale of Jay and Silent Bob heading to Hollywood (again) to stop a Bluntman & Chronic movie from being made (again) all the while encountering shenanigans, drugs and weirdness along the way (again), but there’s also a more serious toned tale this time, with Jason Mewes’ Jay finding out that he has a daughter he didn’t know about from back when he had a love affair with Boo Boo Kitty Fuck herself, Justice (Shannon Elizabeth) back in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001). This plot is actually done well and helps bring some actual acting to the proceedings, with Mewes showing more acting ability in the scenes with Harley’s Milly than in any previous Smith movies.

Really, though, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a 105 minute long nod to the fans of Kevin Smith’s movies. It’s a bunch of jokes we’ve already heard, yet I didn’t mind that. It’s kind of like listening to a greatest hits compilation of songs from a band you really like. It feels like a reunion and a remeniscence of Smith’s career, and perhaps that’s exactly what this is. I enjoyed this, and while it’s very specifically for fans of Kevin Smith’s back catalogue, it’s one of those movies it’s hard to dislike when you remember the reasons you connected with Smith’s work in the first place. Whether it’s Jason Lee wiggling his tongue as he “la-la-la-la”’s the infamous tune, or the various times we hear “snoogins” uttered by various characters, it’s a welcome trip down memory lane, complete with dick jokes, a whole bunch of weed and two characters who symbolised nerd culture for an entire generation.

***½  3.5/5

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, and you can watch it on Rakuten TV too!

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