Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (Blu-ray)
Snoochie Boochies! Check out our review of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot on Blu-ray!
Jay and Silent Bob discover that a reboot is being made of Bluntman and Chronic, the movie loosely based on their lives. Determined not to let that happen, the pair set off on a cross-country trek to stop the film from being made. Stars Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Harley Quinn Smith, and a bunch of celebrity cameos. Written and directed by Kevin Smith.
Allow me to preface my review by saying this: it isn’t necessary to watch Jay and Silent Bob Reboot while high. But it most certainly helps.
Twenty-five years after everyone’s favorite stoners made their debut in Kevin Smith’s indie classic Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob are back, older and not necessarily wiser. It’s been more than a decade since the pair were on the big screen together, and the passage of time shows.
Kevin Smith, having suffered a heart attack over a year ago, is no longer the “fat ass” that made him the butt of jokes in previous films. He’s slimmer and he’s also nearing 50, as is his “hetero life mate” Jason Mewes. Their alter egos, as a result, have to mature as well.
That presents a challenge for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. While the film is often funny, the edginess that defined Jay and Silent Bob has dulled, as their humor must now be neutered in today’s progressive, politically-correct, "cancel-culture" world.
Now that weed is legal in many states, and the stigma isn’t what it used to be, the stoner jokes don’t quite have the impact they once had. In a culture that gets offended over any joke that’s even mildly controversial, you can’t help but feel that the film leaves so many jokes untold, because they didn’t want to “go there.” And I never thought I’d say that about Jay and Silent Bob.
Smith, who wrote and directed the film, does push the envelope at times. Aparna Brielle’s Arab character is named “Jihad,” but there’s no additional jokes that may be too “stereotypical.” There are enough F-bombs to blow a hole in the world, and there are plenty of raunchy jokes. However, the humor actively avoids being too sexist, especially with the four young women (Brielle, Harley Quinn Smith, Treshelle Edmond, and Alice Wen) who travel with Jay and Silent Bob to Hollywood to stop a Bluntman and Chronic reboot.
While you never want overt sexism to be a joke, the lack of give-and-take between Jay and Silent Bob and the ladies leaves much to be desired. Treating the four actresses - who are all pretty funny in their roles - with kid gloves doesn’t really deliver the laughs. Sure, one of the ladies turns out to be Jay’s daughter, leading to some awkward situations, but the aforementioned edgy humor isn’t what it once was.
The puns and insider jokes that were a Jay and Silent Bob signature are still there, but it really helps to be a fan of Kevin Smith’s past View Askew Universe films. As I mentioned before, a lot of the silly jokes will be much funnier if you’re under the influence. While a lot (and I mean A LOT) of the jokes fall flat, there are enough decent laughs to keep the ride enjoyable.
Smith and Mewes are still as entertaining a pair of cinematic funnymen as you’ll find these days, and their chemistry carries the film when the jokes Smith writes don’t.
Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, plays a major role in the film, but she isn’t quite up to the task to deliver the laughs. She does well in the few dramatic scenes the film calls for, but her sarcastic brand of dry humor doesn’t translate well. It’s ironic, as the film’s heavy meta humor actually mocks Smith casting his daughter in films. And yet, he did it again anyway.
Thankfully, the film relies heavily on a few dozen celebrity cameos, and most of them deliver. Justin Long, Fred Armisen, and Jason Lee all bring the laughs in their limited time on screen.
Others, however, don’t fare as well: Ben Affleck’s cameo is a bit subdued, as he delivers a solemn monologue about fatherhood. It stops the film’s momentum cold, especially with some bad movie title puns. Other cameos seem rushed, with the actors doing little more but just appearing as themselves and offering few laughs.
After so much time away, I expected more from the return of Jay and Silent Bob. I was expecting something fresher, something edgier, and something far funnier than Reboot.
At one point in the film, Jason Lee says that reboot/remake/sequel films tend to destroy the original movies that served as source material. While Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is decently funny and a mildly entertaining diversion, at least it doesn’t destroy the legacy of the past films. Instead, it will likely make you want to go back, relive, and appreciate the greatness of the past films. That might have been Smith’s idea all along.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The high definition transfer on the Blu-ray is surprisingly strong, with razor-sharp detail and bold colors. The film was shot digitally, and Lionsgate’s transfer is free of any artificial grain or distortion. A few night scenes seem to struggle balancing black levels, but it’s a minor detraction.
The 5.1 DTS-HDMA track is very well balanced, and the music in particular is served well with an enveloping presentation. Hearing about 150 F-bombs in chair-rattling 5.1 may upset the neighbors though, if you crank the sound too high.
There aren’t a lot of bonus features, but an hour-long compilation of interviews mixed in with behind-the-scenes footage is a nice look at the production process. The disc could have really used a Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes commentary track, though.
The special features on the Blu-ray are as follows.
Cast Interviews. Interviews with Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Shannon Elizabeth, Ralph Garman, Chris Hemsworth, Justin Long, Joseph Manganiello, Craig Robinson, Frankie Shaw, Chris Jericho, Robert Kirkman, Brian Quinn, Fred Armisen, Aparna Brielle, Harley Quinn Smith, Treshelle Edmond, Alice Wen, Diedrich Bader, Keith Coogan, Donnell Rawlings, Adam Brody, David Dastmalchian, Method Man, Redman, Kate Micucci, Jen Schwalbach, Producer Liz Destro, Producer Jordan Monsanto, Brian O’Halloran, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Melissa Benoist, James Van Der Beek, Jason Biggs, and Dan Fogler are included. Behind-the-scenes and set footage are included. Running Time: 58:47.
“Kevin and Jay Interview Cast and Crew” featurette. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes interview Rosario Dawson, Brian Quinn, members of the crew (including their stand ins) and others while on set. Running Time: 29:44
Blooper Reel. Same jokes, new mistakes. Running Time: 9:37
Hair Reel. The obsessive attention paid to Jay and SIlent Bob’s hair is the focus of this fun supercut of a bunch of behind-the-scenes shots. Running Time: 1:43
Digital Copy. A code for a digital copy of the film is included. The code is redeemable on services including VUDU and FandangoNow. Lionsgate codes are NOT compatible with Movies Anywhere.
- Release Date: January 21, 2020
- Rating: R (pervasive strong, crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and some nudity)
- Running Time: 95 minutes
- Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
- Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
- Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish
- Special Features: Cast Interviews, “Kevin and Jay Interview the Cast” featurette, Blooper Reel, Hair Reel, Digital Copy.
- Label: Lionsgate
- MSRP: $21.99