Cinematic Releases: Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and Roadshow (2019) - Reviewed

When nostalgia, a heart attack and giving back to your friends comes together, you get well, if I'm totally honest, a really damn good time. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is just that--it's Kevin Smith giving back to his friends, showing them the love he feels for them and the impact they've had on his life and career. The Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Roadshow on the other hand is Kevin Smith sharing that love with his fans, in the best way he knows how, showing the movie and talking to them.

Lets talk about the movie, I'll put this simply, if you're a fan of Kevin and his movies (like I am), it's wonderful. It's several trips down memory lane, it's updates and catching up with characters that feel like old friends. The concept of old friends is something this movie does insanely well and they are all here. Just the list of cameos and short appearances is amazing: Brian O'Halloran, Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams, Deidrich Bader, James Van Der Beek, Craig Robinson, Jason Biggs, Joseph Reitman, Marilyn Ghigliotti, The Comic Book Men, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Rosario Dawson, Shannon Elizabeth, Justin Long and the kids who bought weed from Jay and Silent Bob in Strike Back (Not Strikes Back, Jay), even the late great Stan Lee has a cameo of sorts in the movie. Not to mention the list of new people in the film and of course Kevin and Jay's family members make an appearance as well.

Now a lot of people think of nostalgia and fan service as a bad thing in films, and for the most part I agree, this on the other hand didn't feel like that, it felt genuine and loving. It would have been so easy to just have it be saccharine sweet, but it isn't, it's clever, well thought out and just enjoyable. 

Now, on the technical side, as with most Kevin Smith movies it's kinda clumsy, the cinematography isn't anything to write home about, the lighting is just functional and the plot isn't exactly Argo (Sorry, even though Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, it wasn't exactly a well written masterpiece), but the writing is pitch perfect, the characters feel even more real now than they did back in the '90s when they were created. Lets be honest about one major thing here, no one goes to a Kevin Smith movie for the amazing cinematic experience, we go because the characters resonate with us, they are genuine and despite the plethora of dick and fart jokes, the characters people you that make you laugh and more importantly make you happy.

You might wonder if he's found his funny bone again, since his last few movies were certainly interesting, but the laughs weren't quite as plentiful as his Askewniverse pictures and I'm happy to say, the laughs are back, there is even something new in there, tears. Kevin could always write serious drama very well and usually had decent actors to play it up, we all know Chasing Amy is a certifiable masterpiece, but here we have something different. We have a subject near and dear to the star's hearts, being a parent. Kevin gets lucky in having his daughter Harley Quinn Smith as a new muse and what a muse she is. She brought out some of the best performances from the other actors I've ever seen in a Smith movie, even Jason Mewes. As far as the film goes, it's a joy to watch, you will leave the theater all warm and fuzzy and ready for more, which is convenient, since Clerks 3 is back on.

The Roadshow, what can I say about the roadshow? It was a hell of a lot of fun. Wait till you see the Jay and Silent Bob Audible commercials. Kevin Smith as usual is one of those guys that can turn a simple question into a journey down 25 years of history, give you keen insight into his life, or he can just go on tangents and leave you wondering if the questions asked were really answered. Jason Mewes somehow has figured out how to tone that down and get Kevin a bit more on track and dare I say, Stay on Target. 

One thing that was learned from a question at my showing that I feel really needs to be told to everyone, this was supposed to be a Stan Lee movie, not a cameo, but he was supposed to have a huge part in the third act that sadly, had to be rewritten as he passed just before production began, and hearing Kevin and Jason tell stories about being with Stan really, well in my case made me tear up and get all blubbery. 

The whole package was a wonderful film going experience one I don't think I'll ever forget, a wonderful night, a wonderful host and a wonderful movie, who could ask for more. Jay, we'll see you in 15 years when you do the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Reboot.

--Trevor West