I’m not entirely sure this even got a cinema release here. Or anywhere for that matter. Ask yourself, after all the absolute dross Kevin Smith has pumped out over the last 20 years, who could possibly be excited for this except Kevin Smith? I certainly wasn’t, having clocked Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back on telly a few months back and thinking ‘that cannot possibly be as bad as I remember it being’ only to trawl 45 minutes in and switch the fuck over before the urge to drown myself became so real I couldn’t endure another minute of it. High expectations here then…
- The only thing I’m going to grace this clown with is there’s an actual underlying note of sweetness that arrives through the second half of this self referential drudgery, in the ‘Jay has a daughter but can’t tell her he’s her father’ sub-plot. We’ll get into why that gets ruined later but ehhhhh, your heart was somewhere near the right place. Jason Mewes can play one thing which is himself, and that dude’s been through circumstances, but he sells it well enough when he’s not spouting Smith’s try hard dialogue and endlessly repeating how Silent Bob is his hetero life partner. Which somehow comes off as both gay panic and being down with LGBT things. Or doing his fucking Buffalo Bill dick tuck nonsense AGAIN. No-one needs to see that.
- The absolute highlights of this film are Method Man & Redman cameoing for all of 2 minutes, and even then Smith still manages to fuck that up by making Meth do one of his best Wire quotes out of context just to prove he’s seen The Wire. These guys are absolute comedy naturals, just give them a general direction and they’ll nail that shit no problem. Damon just about gets away with his cameo even though it’s got ‘I’m too nice not to do you this favour even if it is just for a cheesy one-liner and has precisely nothing to do with anything else’. Ditto for Chris Rock.
- Full disclosure: I absolutely loved Clerks when it came out. In 1994. I was 17. It’s the sort of low budget guerrilla film making you really don’t get anymore, and it’s still not bad on a rewatch as a time capsule truly independent flick. Mallrats has dated horribly, and once we move on to Chasing Amy it becomes fairly clear he’s no idea what he’s on about involving sexuality, Dogma has it’s moments carried by Damon/Affleck, but after that it’s a fucking jump-out-of-a-plane-at-36,000 feet, without any kind of parachute, never mind quality, barring the one blip of Red State which mercifully doesn’t feature our titular idiots and uses a decent stable of actors.
- So once again, who in this ruined world was ever going to see this film? Somebody will, as IMDB tells me there’s a bunch of J&S stand up films, albeit from 2012. I know Smith screeches away at all his haters online, so his solution was to make another film (like the aforementioned ‘…Strike Back’) starring not only himself as Silent Bob, but himself as himself with multiple referential ironic digs at himself as a film maker. It’s like watching a blowjob video where the sucker and suckee are magically the same person but at the same time they’re both telling each other they suck and getting everyone they’ve ever encountered professionally to come and watch. There’s an ancient Keith Richards quote I’ve always loved from something like the Radio Times having him review that Northern Exposure programme: “I was told this was a comedy. Not only did I not laugh, I never even smiled” which describes this mess perfectly. Imagine my face watching it as whatever the concerned emoji looks like.
- The solution to your woes Smith, is find a decent script which doesn’t come from yourself or any of your cronies on your stoned-as-fuck bullshit podcast and attempt to make a decent film. If you must have Jay & Silent Bob there, reduce them to cameo asides like they should’ve been from the get-go, not base everything around them. Again.
- I wrote something like a two line review of Yoga Hosers in the print VBAH column, simply to warn you from ever seeing it. It’s main star? Harley Quinn Smith: Kevin’s daughter, a paid up member of that exclusive club populated by Sherri Moon Zombie & Greg Grunberg, due to their complete inability to be cast by anyone other than friends or family. And here she is again, inheriting all her mothers acting ability and going by the name of Milly. Short for Millennium Falcon. I see you though. You managed to just get away with Harley Quinn didn’t you Kevin? I know your first suggestion to your wife (mercifully relegated to a 30 second cameo in this) was exactly that, followed by ‘we could call her Milly!’ Anyways, her friends along for the ride are in order:
Deaf Black girl
Silent Chinese Girl
Asian girl wearing a Hijab, called Jihad
The fuck are you thinking here? Even making them self aware doesn’t excuse this naïve baby take on multi-culturalism, I don’t give a shit how sassy they are. Get in the fucking bin with this shit. Their main thrust is the strangely quiet Chinese girls one wish on Earth to go to a convention about the Bluntman & Chronic film that ‘Strike Back’ is all about. Because that’s what 17-year-olds dream about, greasy conventions full of smelly mooks all enthusiastic for films that came out around the time of your birth. Get some fucking perspective son. All this brought to mind was the well-worn Simpsons meme of Principal Skinner deciding it’s the kids that are out of touch and not him, although he clearly thinks this is some biting commentary on… people into their hobbies who don’t wash regularly?* And then she reveals herself to be a Russian… assassin/spy or something that needs to kill the actual Kevin Smith? Who gives a shit? Allison Brie’s Russian wrestler accent/persona in GLOW is more convincing than this dickery torn straight from a Police Academy film.
- While we’re on that tickle, you’d be forgiven for thinking Smith was on death’s door writing/directing this as a eulogy to himself and his other films. The other cameo’s we suffer:
- Ben Affleck reprising his Chasing Amy role. For some reason he looks like post surgery Elon Musk (which is pretty similar to F.Murray Abrahams look in Star Trek: Insurrection), and much like Damon’s cameo, was shot whenever he was available apropos of any other characters being involved or in the same room, except…
- …he also dug Joey Lauren Adams up from whatever straight to video grave she was inhabiting. Awww, her & Affleck are married, which they explain for the unfortunate few that never saw or gave a fuck about Chasing Amy, as they all massage each others balls.
- Rosario Dawson/Shannon Elizabeth/Chris Hemsworth having nothing better to do.
- I got all the time in the world for Donnell Rawlings and his 3 minute shouty thing, but even he must think he only got this job because Chappelle told Smith to go bollocks, and Charlie Murphy is sadly no longer with us.
- Why bother writing anything new? Let’s just get Jason ‘Scientologist clinging desperately to his hair’ Lee to do the same thing he did in Mallrats and condescendingly tell us the difference between a remake and a reboot while doing some fourth wall breaking. The only time that has ever worked in film is in Airplane!
- Tells you something when the guy who played Randall, Claire Forlani, Jeremy London or Shannon Doherty don’t bother turning up, like they also had better things to do.
Other quick points:
- Smith has lost some serious weight, and OK props for that. He still manages to pop his grievance against airlines in at the same time as being both for AND against veganism though? No tears now, only dreams son.
- In all the promo for this, Smith is wearing this purple blazer he clearly bought before losing half his body mass. Which has the unfortunate effect of making him look like a small child dressing in his mums clothes, if his mum deigned to look like an idiot whose only conception of fashion was ‘Canadian Hockey Wanker with a purple blazer’. Wouldn’t even look good if it fucking fit him.
Should I watch this?
Why would you? I want to show this to my friend’s 15-year-old daughter for comparison, with her not knowing any other Smith films, and I’ll guarantee her reaction will be ‘what the fuck is this shit?’ It’s a self-serving tribute to and by a man who seems to run on nepotism and whose idea of his own self importance needs a harsh reality kick, but we can all look forward to the proposed Clerks III. Surely that’ll be the career renaissance he in his own brain thinks he so richly deserves. Or it’ll tank horribly like everything else and only really be watched by people like me, with a morbid curiosity about just how unfunny you can make a comedy film, or the kind of jerk whose taste stopped evolving around 2002.
You have money, stop trying to make your daughter a thing and leave all this bubble universe behind.
*This is my experience at various comic conventions rather than the films. YMMV but salient advice to all you greaseballs in Manga shirts/shorts: girls like this stuff too. As a verified fashion/taste influencer**, a shower before the event would make you the one suave man in the kingdom of the rank.