Clerks | Mallrats | Chasing Amy | Dogma | Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back | Clerks II | Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
Kevin Smith is a comic-loving film fan who in the mid-1990s successfully broke into the film industry with Clerks, an independent black and white film he had written and directed. This was made on a shoestring budget with money he raised by selling off his comic collection and using credit cards. After getting a distributor and becoming a surprise and largely unprecedented hit, it was followed by sequels that featured some of the same characters, all of which concentrate on his rude, but witty, wordplay. Some actors play multiple characters across the film series, often playing relatives of characters in previous films. Two characters appear in every film in the series, Jay and Silent Bob, who are drug dealers1. Jay is immature, arrogant and self-obsessed while as his name suggests, Silent Bob is his quiet partner whose facial expressions nevertheless speak volumes. On the rare occasions that Bob speaks, his advice is well-worth listening to.
The View Askewniverse
As Kevin Smith's film company he co-founded with producer partner Scott Mosier is called View Askew Productions2, the film series have become known as being the View Askewniverse. Other films that he has made that do not feature these characters3 are not considered part of the View Askewniverse. Jay and Silent Bob have even featured in their own (short-lived) animated television series (2000) and cameoed in Scream 3 (2000). Although his films strongly reflect his style, Smith refuses to take the standard 'A film by' in the credits, preferring the credit 'written & directed by' as he feels that filmmaking is a collaborative process.
What follows is a simple rundown of Smith's View Askewniverse films.
Kevin Smith writes films about people who talk about comic books and Star Wars but usually have at least one deep moment in them somewhere, buried beneath everything else. Warning – these films contain numerous references to his favourite film Jaws, nudity, sex, drugs, rock and roll, hockey4, comics and explicit Star Wars5. Other films by Smith's favourite directors including Stephen Spielberg, John Hughes and John Landis are often referenced. Conversations often contain explicit sex references and hundreds of swear words. Most films have met controversy over different issues. They are also all set in New Jersey, which is why they have also been called the New Jersey Chronicles. Skee-ball, an arcade ballgame created in New Jersey, also often appears.
Though the films contain explicit sex references and constant swearing they perhaps can be summarised by quoting the New York Times review of Clerks II:
'Clerks II' has a dirty mind, but its heart is pure.
The main recurring characters in the View Askewniverse are as follows:
Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith)
A pair of stoner drug dealers – though they emphasise they only sell what can be smoked. Silent Bob says very little, but on the occasions he does it is either a film quote or something actually worth listening to. His 'hetero-lifemate' Jay is in many ways the opposite, never stopping talking and virtually everything he says is an offensive profanity, sex or drugs related. Jay and Silent Bob long to do little more than hang around each other, leaning against their favourite wall in the world, which is outside the Quick Stop Convenience Store, while selling dope.
Jay and Silent Bob are the only characters to appear in every film in the View Askewniverse. In this film series Jason Mewes has only ever played Jay, while Kevin Smith has also played Kevin Smith, though he may have been unconvincing.
Dante Hicks and Randal Graves (Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson)
Dante Hicks is an indecisive but likeable guy whose lack of action means he never lives up to his full potential. His best-friend is Randal, a guy who doesn't care a jot about what others think as long as he can spend time with his best friend Dante, although he normally makes Dante's life a mess in the process. While superficially it appears Randal is a bad influence on Dante, he also spurs Dante on to occasionally actually taking action.
Brian O'Halloran has also played various cousins and other members of the Hicks family, including Gill Hicks in Mallrats, Jim Hicks in Chasing Amy, Grant Hicks in Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Jeff Anderson has often been reluctant to appear in subsequent films and is usually the last actor to sign on to any Kevin Smith film. He has played one other character, cameoing as a gun salesman in Dogma.
Brodie Bruce (Jason Lee)
Brodie is a comic book nerd who as a teen loves hanging around the Mall and as an adult achieves his dream of opening his own comic book store, inspired by Kevin Smith's own real comic book store, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. A mischievous Marvel fan, he remains close friends with Jay and Silent Bob, advising them of events in the comic book world that will affect them while remaining flabbergasted about how out of touch they are.
Jason Lee is the only actor to play two main recurring characters, also being Banky Edwards, but also plays demon Azrael in Dogma.
Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards (Ben Affleck and Jason Lee)
Holden and Banky are the artists behind successful comic book (and later film) characters Bluntman and Chronic, which were inspired by the antics of Jay and Silent Bob. Their friendship and close working relationship came to an end when Holden fell in love with Alyssa Jones. Ben Affleck has also played the abusive Shannon Hamilton in Mallrats and angel Bartleby in Dogma.
Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams)
The sister of Heather Jones and Tricia Jones, Alyssa is a comic book artist who has a brief relationship with Holden. A whirlwind character, she is dangerous to know. In Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Netflix want to make a series based on her life. Joey Lauren Adams also played Gwen Turner in Mallrats and though Smith has attempted to cast her in more films in the series, unfortunately the financers have often refused to allow it, preferring to have a bigger-named actress in main roles.
1. Clerks (1994)
Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran), a man in his 20s, is called in to manage the Quick Stop Convenience Store where he works on his day off to cover for an ill colleague. He finds the shutters over the windows are jammed shut with gum in the locks, drug dealers are hanging around outside and the customers just won't stop complaining. He is dating a girl named Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) who wants him to go back to college and make more of his life than simply work in a shop, but he can't stop thinking about Caitlin Brie (Lisa Spoonauer), a girl he dated in high school but who kept cheating on him.
A gum salesman starts the action off by rallying about a dozen smokers together to attack Dante by throwing cigarettes at him. Dante smells of shoe polish all day since using it to improvise a sign reading 'I Assure You We're Open!' to stop customers thinking the shop was closed with the shutters down. Dante closes the store twice; firstly to play hockey on the roof and again to go to the funeral of an ex-girlfriend named Julie Dwyer, who died in a YMCA swimming pool. In between all his cries of, 'I'm not even supposed to be here today!', Dante suffers more than one might reasonably expect6 He also finds that Caitlin Bree is getting married and that before Veronica dated him, was more sexually active than he had ever imagined.
His friend and associate from next door's RST video shop is Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) who comes in late, closes whenever he likes, and even when is at work is spending his time reading the Quick Stop's porn mags. Also in the film are drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob, played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith.
Writer/director Kevin Smith made this cheap, 88 minute-long, 16mm black and white dark comedy for $27,575 shot in Leonardo, New Jersey at the Quick Stop convenience mart and RST Videos in the shops where he had worked for four years. The spent making Clerks7 would not have paid for a whole second of Titanic (1997) - even after Miramax spent an additional $100,000 on the soundtrack. Filming took place during the night after the shop had closed and to explain why the shop's shutters were closed the gum in the locks explanation was added. As he was working shifts in the shop during the day and filming there from 10pm – 5:30am every morning, during the three weeks of filming Smith never had more than an hour of sleep a day.
Jay was written based on Jason Mewes when he was 16, however Mewes was very self-conscious; though Mewes would dance spontaneously, he was unprepared to dance on demand. His dance in the film was done by leaving the camera running and having everyone except Kevin Smith leaving the area. Mewes also was supposed to have Silent Bob's line but, unable to nail it, the line was changed to be the only sentence said by Silent Bob. Smith has since said that the characters of Dante and Randal were reflections of himself, with carefree Randal how he would like to be and the more uptight Dante how he really is, mirroring Smith's own Clerkin' experiences.
The film went to the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. This led to its getting Miramax8 to distribute it once the ending changed to remove Dante's death.
Don't let the sex references and the naughty language fool you, this is a fabulous film, no question. And far more successful than makes any reasonable sense.
2. Mallrats (1995)
Clerks was a huge success, Mallrats on its original release was not. It was shot in a mall in Minnesota, set in New Jersey the day before the events of Clerks, it was hated by critics. The 91-minute film was made when, following the success of Clerks, Smith was approached by Universal Pictures who asked him to make a teenage sex comedy in the same vein as Porky's (1981). Smith was instructed to have the main characters in their late teens, cut out any swearing but include frontal female nudity. The film's original marketing campaign did not quite seem to know who to target the film to and Mallrats flopped at the cinemas, but has since successfully found its audience in the home video market.
Mallrats stars Jason Lee as comic book-Sega-lover Brodie Bruce (Randal's cousin). His girlfriend Rene Mosier (Shannen Doherty) dumps him on the very sensible ground of him being a loser. Meanwhile Brodie's best friend TS Quint (Jeremy London) had plans to take his girlfriend Brandi Svenning, (Claire Forlani) to Florida and propose to her in the Universal Studios theme park 'When Jaws jumps out of the water'. Unfortunately Brandi can't go because she has to help her father by being a contestant on the new game show he's producing to replace the original contestant, Julie Dwyer, who had died. Dwyer was the girl whose funeral Dante attended in Clerks. Dwyer had died after TS told her that the camera added ten pounds and tried obsessively to swim too many laps to lose weight. TS and Brandi break up too. To console themselves, Brodie and TS got to a mall…
Brodie: Hey, THE mall. Show some respect.
Very well - THE mall, where, it turns out, the game show is being filmed. Brodie hatches a plan to hire two mischief-makers to ruin the show, none other than Jay and Silent Bob. Brodie discovers that his ex is already being chatted-up by Shannon Hamilton, the owner of shop Fashionable Male (Ben Affleck). Also in the shopping centre is fifteen-year-old Tricia Jones (Renée Humphrey), the younger sister of Clerks minor character Heather Jones, who is writing a book about the male sex drive. They also keep encountering Gwen Turner9 (Joey Lauren Adams).
Both Brodie and TS embark on separate missions to win back the loves of their lives but along the way they need advice from a topless psychic and further wisdom from Spiderman-creator Stan Lee, the co-operation of Tricia Jones and, showing how desperate they are, even help from Jay and Silent Bob. Only by combining all their forces can they succeed. One of the game show contestants is Gil Hicks (Dante's cousin), played by Brian O'Halloran.
3. Chasing Amy (1997)
This, a mature comedy about sex and comic books, was Smith's most acclaimed movie to date. Ben Affleck and Jason Lee play Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards respectively, the artist and inker (not a tracer) who co-created a popular comic book series. This, titled Bluntman and Chronic, was inspired by Jay and Silent Bob who feature as crime-fighters. When they meet the creator of a comic they initially dismiss as a 'chick-book' named Alyssa Jones (sister of earlier ViewAskewniverse characters Heather and Tricia and first mentioned in Clerks) played by Joey Lauren Adams, Holden instantly falls in love with her. When Alyssa freely discusses that she is a lesbian he freaks out, while Banky is interested in learning first-hand about lesbian sex and thinks Holden is nuts, a sentiment shared by their gay black comic book artist friend Hooper X (Dwight Ewell).
Alyssa hopes Holden will become a close friend, but after Alyssa and Holden sleep together and start dating, pressure begins to threaten their relationship. Alyssa tells Banky that since she never saw a good example of a male-female relationship, it never made sense to her to automatically eliminate all women from her list of possible soulmates and didn't, but then she unexpectedly fell in love with Holden and feels justified that she got here on her own terms. Unfortunately Holden cannot overcome that when trying to find her own sexuality earlier in life she had freely experimented and tried everything, long before deciding that actually all she wants is Holden.
Holden can't accept her past and his best-friend Banky hates and resents her for threatening his and Holden's close friendship, until the relationship reaches crisis point.
Smith has said that after Clerks was over-praised and Mallrats was over-abashed he wanted to make Chasing Amy an honest film. This is reflected in the dialogue, where at one point Holden says that he'll write something personal when he has something personal to say. After filming finished on Mallrats Smith and Adams briefly dated, before splitting amicably. Toward the end of the movie, Silent Bob surprises all by delivering a monologue explaining the title Chasing Amy. This allows Smith to break character to explain his real life experience with the film's star Joey Lauren Adams.
Despite having separated Smith wrote Chasing Amy with Adams in mind. Miramax, who offered Smith a budget of $3 million, did not feel Adams was right for the role, particularly disliking her distinctive voice. They wanted to cast Drew Barrrymore and David Schwimmer as the lead roles. Smith insisted on Adams and Ben Affleck and, disillusioned by his experience on Mallrats, realised he would rather have his preferred cast than a bigger budget. In order to retain control he made the film for only $250,000 with money loaned from Miramax, who had the option of first refusal to distribute. Joey Lauren Adams makes the film, even writing and performing the song she sings.
4. Dogma (1999)
Boy, oh boy, did Kevin ever get heat for this one. Dogma was originally going to be made right after Clerks, but he felt he wasn't mature enough to do this film about his faith justice. He wrote it when he was having some serious questions about his own faith and, though it does not presume to reveal any clear cut answers, writing the movie did help Smith overcome his crisis of faith and has credited God in the with thanks to section of the end credits in all his View Askewniverse films. Despite this, Dogma met with considerable criticism from self-appointed watchdog group the US Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights who accused the film of being blasphemous without having seen it, stating that flaky Catholics might stop believing in God if they saw this film10. This group, which does not have official church sanction, may have been using the film as a media crusade to generate publicity. Smith even received death threats from claimants asserting that the film questions Christianity when in fact it does not.
Linda Fiorentino plays Bethany Sloan a woman who, since an incident resulting in her inability to have children and her divorce, has all-but-given-up on God. Then one night an angel (Metatron, the voice of God; Alan Rickman) appears in her room and tells her that she is to be charged with a holy crusade. That aeons ago two angels names Bartleby and Loki (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) were banished from heaven and, instead of being sent to Hell, suffered an even worse fate; being sent to Wisconsin.
Thanks to the Catholic Church's dogma of Plenary Indulgence they may have found a way back in to Heaven. Cardinal Glick, portrayed by comedian George Carlin, has declared that all who enter his church in New Jersey will gain a morally clean slate. The angels intend to pass through this arch and die, and therefore ascend to heaven. However, since God is infallible, proving Him wrong would unmake reality. In short, if the angels go into the church, the universe will end. On her way, Bethany meets Jay and Silent Bob, who are acting as prophets, as well as Chris Rock as Rufus, the 13th Apostle. Other friends and foe include a muse named Serendipity played by Salma Hayek and a demon made entirely out of human faeces. Through the sojourn, she learns about her faith and in much the same way as Smith did, finds peace with her creator.
The film also stars Jason Lee as the demon Azrael, Alan Rickman as the Metatron and Alanis Morisette as God. Jeff Anderson plays a gun salesman and Brian O'Halloran returns to his Hicks roots as reporter Grant Hicks. Guinevere Turner (who also made a brief appearance in Chasing Amy and provided the namesake of Gwen Turner from Mallrats) appears again and Dwight Ewell makes an appearance as a gang leader.
Smith was unable to cast his intended cast for the film, intending Joey Lauren Adams to play Bethany, however as Linda Fiorentino had starred in the highly successful big budget blockbuster Men In Black (1997), she was the studio's preferred choice. Naturally Emma Thompson was considered to be God, however she was unavailable due to pregnancy and wishing to concentrate on her family.
This film introduces the recurring Mooby Company to the View Askewniverse. The Mooby Corporation's logo is a golden calf and the company is a cross between Disney and McDonalds, combining fast food restaurants with children's entertainment and theme parks. As with other films there are numerous in-jokes and things to look out for. The bus company is named 'Derris' after the character of Rick Derris in Clerks. Silent Bob is seen reading USA Today, a newspaper Smith's wife was writing an article for when he met her.
Clerks: The Animated Series (2000)
This short lived animated television series was made by Disney's Touchstone Television and premiered on ABC. It was cancelled virtually instantly after two shows were broadcast, with only six episodes made. The original cast returned to do the voices (even Silent Bob) and also on hand was Alec Baldwin as some kind of evil overlord – although they had hoped to interest Alan Rickman. Tara Strong also has her first appearance in the ViewAskewniverse. It is possible that the show was unsuccessful because at the very heart of Clerks was its black-and-white, cheaply-made look that didn't translate into becoming vivid and animated.
5. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
This film was intended to be the final entry in the series, with the key actors and characters from the earlier films invited back to cameo. Ben Affleck reprised his role from Chasing Amy, Jason Lee reprised both his roles from Mallrats and Chasing Amy, and Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson are again Dante and Randal from Clerks. Of course, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith return as Jay and Silent Bob, who now take the helm of the picture in a road trip.
After Randal gets them issued with a restraining order to stop them hanging outside the Quick Stop selling dope, Jay and Silent Bob hang out at a comic book store. There they learn from Brodie, the store's owner, that as all comic book characters are being made into films, Miramax are making a film featuring the comic book characters created by Banky and Holden for Chasing Amy. These are also called Silent Bob and Jay and turn into heroes Bluntman and Chronic. After visiting Holden they learn that he had sold his rights on to Banky, who was the one who authorised the film. He shows them the internet, informing them that the internet not only was created for pornography but also to allow people to slate and criticise films they haven't actually seen, as well as illegally download and share film scripts and spoil the plots for others. Angry that numerous people are bad-mouthing the fictional Jay and Silent Bob and taking it personally, Jay and Silent Bob decide to travel across America to Hollywood to stop the film from being made.
On the way, at a Mooby's restaurant they encounter Justice (Shannon Elizabeth), a woman that Jay instantly falls head-over heels in love with. She says that she and her friends Sissy, Chrissy and Missy (Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter and Kevin Smith's wife Jennifer Schwalbach Smith) are animal rights protestors and ask Jay and Silent Bob to steal an orang-utan for her from an animal testing laboratory, but really Jay and Silent Bob are being used as a distraction while the girls rob the neighbouring jewellery depository. Soon Jay, Silent Bob and Suzanne the orang-utan are being hunted by Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly (Will Ferrell), who believes they are the most dangerous fugitives in the country.
Can Jay and Silent Bob stop Hollywood from making a film about them, or at least stop the constant ignorant internet criticism? Will they follow the Hitchhiker's guide to the road to get to Los Angeles? Even if they get there, will they be able to find the right place, or instead blunder through every other film set in use, especially for Scream? How many cameo appearances can be fitted into one film?
Following Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Following the farewell film in the View Askewniverse, Kevin Smith decided to make a more mainstream film. This was Jersey Girl (2004), a comedy film that cost $35 million to make appear but only made $36 million at the box office and so failed to recoup its marketing budget. The biggest expense was paying Ben Affleck and Jenifer Lopez $10 and $4 million respectively to appear, at a time when Ben Affleck's relationship with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez was being constantly broadcast everywhere by the media, who named the couple 'Bennifer'. After their film Gigli (2003), which cost $77 million to make and only recouped $7 million it was apparent that audiences did not want to see a film starring the celebrity couple, something confirmed by Jersey Girl's test screenings. So despite having paid $4 million for Lopez to be in the film, most of the Lopez scenes were removed from the finalised version of the film in order to persuade audiences to actually see it. Following this failure, Smith once more returned to the View Askewniverse.
This was a difficult decision for Smith to make as he had been offered the chance to direct big-budget superhero film The Green Hornet for Miramax, however he realised that working on big budget films would result in losing control over the film and he would be answerable to those providing the finance. He had also been disillusioned with making films featuring famous stars and the intense media pressure that came with it, particularly the media's obsession with the stars' love lives to the point of having no interest in the film they were appearing in whatsoever. Smith instead opted to make this low-budget comedy for a much more discreet $5 million.
6. Clerks II (2006)
A year after the Quick Stop burnt down, Dante and Randal are 'funployees' making burgers and taking abuse from customers at a Mooby's Restaurant, along with Elias Grover (Trevor Fehrman). It is Dante's last day there as he is about to head to Florida with his fiancée Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach Smith). While his best friend Randal decides to secretly arrange a leaving party, arranging for an interspecies erotica act to perform there that evening, Dante must come to terms with how he feels about his manager, Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson). Meanwhile, as they can no longer hang out outside the Quick Stop, reformed drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob, who having found their faith are no longer taking drugs, but still dealing in them, are outside the restaurant.
Who does Dante love? Can a racial slur be reclaimed? Which is the best Return of the film, Jedi or King? How will Dante react having faced his inferno? Has Silent Bob finally run out of things to say?
The film begins and ends in black and white, recreating the spirit and look of the original Clerks. The film was also deliberately filmed with a desaturated colour quality to ensure it was in keeping with the original film, with many fans of Clerks having been attracted by its cheap, worn aesthetic. The film is set in a Mooby's Restaurant, the franchise that had first appeared in Dogma. Jay wears first a Buddy Christ T-Shirt and later wears a jacket labelled 'Justice TLF' (True Love Forever), referencing his girlfriend from the previous film. Once more numerous films are referred to and spoofed, including a memorable The Silence of the Lambs reference and an uplifting dance sequence.
The film's credits end with, Jay and Silent Bob may return. As for now, they're taking it easy.
Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! (2013)
After Silent Bob wins $10 million from a scratchcard bought at the Quick Stop, Silent Bob and Jay spend the money becoming superheroes Bluntman and Chronic, complete with Bluntcave, Bluntmobile and all the gadgets needed to become crime fighters. Yet everywhere they go they accidentally cause people to fall into vast vats of chemicals, mutating them into monsters. These monsters, led by supervillain Lipstick Lesbian, who is angry that Jay had shouted sexual comments at her when she walked past the Quick Stop, form the League of Shitters and attack.
|Setting||Red Bank and Leonardo, New Jersey|
Directed by Steve Stark and not Kevin Smith, and based on Smith's comic book Bluntman & Chronic, it is best considered an animated spin-off of a work of fiction in the View Askerniverse rather than a direct continuation of the series. There are two sides to Kevin Smith's writing – there's the poignant writer who concentrates on relationships and friendships, and there's the side dedicated to dick and fart jokes. This tale is purely the potty-mouthed latter.
Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! was produced by Jason Mewes, as Smith wanted to both challenge and reward him for staying clean and away from drugs and alcohol.
7. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)
After being arrested for growing marijuana, Jay and Silent Bob's lawyer (Justin Long) tricks them into signing away their rights to their own names, revealing he was hired by Saban Films to acquire the rights to their names, Jay and Silent Bob, so that they can reboot the fictional Bluntman and Chronic film, which was based on their fictional namesakes. This is to be filmed by director Kevin Smith. Learning that a key scene for this film is due to be made at this year's Chronic-Con Bluntman and Chronic convention, Silent Bob and Jay travel to Hollywood by using a 'Ride Me' app, planning on stopping the remake of the film they had previously tried to stop. However having legally lost their names they are travelling under the names 'Todd Underhill'
After stopping at a Mooby's Restaurant and watching the television they discover that the love of Jay's life, Justice, with whom he had lost touch due to a misunderstanding, had become a Chicago weather presenter. Tracking her down Jay learns that he had fathered a child, Millennium Faulken (Harley Quinn Smith), called 'Milly' for short, however Justice makes him promise not to tell her that he is her father. Justice is now happily married to Reggie Faulken (Rosario Dawson). When Milly learns that Silent Bob and Jay are travelling to Chronic-Con she and her friends from her support group, Jihad, Soapy and Shan Yu (Aparna Brielle, Treshelle Edmond and Alice Wen), force themselves along too. The reason Milly was in the support group was because of being abandoned by her father.
Can Jay connect with his daughter? What adventures will they experience and who is secretly wearing a catsuit under their clothes? Can Silent Bob disguise himself as Kevin Smith? Who else will cameo along the way?
A paean to fatherhood, this film is full of references to Kevin Smith's real life, mocking how he had been thrown off a commercial airline because of his weight, his near-fatal heart-attack and subsequent conversion to veganism. His real-life daughter Harley Quinn Smith's character Millie also states how she hates Kevin Smith films for always featuring his daughter who is now supposed to be an 'actress'. In the film Smith, playing Kevin Smith, states how it was much easier to get celebrities to agree to cameo in this film following his near-death.
In the film Brodie explains the difference between a Remake and Reboot. Remakes are a new version of a classic film which take the title and nothing else from an existing film and, by purely being a cash-in, results in both a poor film and ruining the reputation of the original. A reboot, on the other hand, maintains everything that was cared for in the original but adds both youth and diversity. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot therefore is a reboot about a reboot; as well as featuring many of the same cast as Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back but with an added young, diverse cast, it includes a film-inside-the-film which is a reboot.
Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse films are that rare beast, a film series that grows with its audience. Normally when a film is successful and had been targeted at, say, 18-year-olds, normally all the sequels are also aimed at 18-year-olds. Yet the View Askewniverse does not follow this trend. Clerks was about the life experiences of people in their early 20s. Though Mallrats was made to be a teen comedy, subsequent films were aimed and about people in their mid-20s, then late 20s. Clerks II was poignantly about people in their 30s experiencing love and life and considering settling down, while Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is purely about finding yourself in your forties and with children of your own. While the jokes never mature or grow up, the films in which they are found definitely do.