Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

“I used to think life was all about me. I was the hero of my own story, a Bruce Wayne of one lifelong issue of Detective Comics, so to speak. And then that kid came along and suddenly you realize you’re not Bruce Wayne anymore. You’re Thomas Wayne.”

Holden McNeil

A painfully unfunny opening scene in a location iconic to Smith fans is an inauspicious start to a reboot that provides a serviceable diversion with sporadic laughs. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was a self-indulgent movie that felt earned off the back of Kevin Smith’s run of successful cult comedies featuring the duo as recurring characters. This reboot is equally self-indulgent but follows a string of weak films that burned through much of the goodwill which might otherwise have carried this film. Instead Reboot finds diminishing returns in the same stunt casting and nostalgic references. This is a film about the shift in perspective that comes with fatherhood, both in a literal sense and (invariably for Smith) as meta-commentary, with his daughter playing a leading role (“I hate this guy. He forces his kid to be in everything he makes.”). Unfortunately, as has been plain since Jersey Girl, Smith struggles to combine that maturing perspective with his brand of comedy. Reboot earns some genuine laughs, largely from its biggest name stars like Damon, Affleck and Hemsworth, whose charismatic cameos sell actual jokes (almost a surprise for a modern comedy) about their celebrity. Fans of the View Askewniverse may find this fleeting enjoyment sufficient; if that sentence means nothing to you, you shouldn’t even be considering this film to begin with.