Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2014) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but would definitely be R for pervasive crude and sexual content, sexuality, drug content, and language
Running Time: 64 min.
Cast (voices): Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Eliza Dushku, Neil Gaiman, Ralph Garman, Tara Strong
Cameo (voices): Kevin Conroy, Stan Lee, Jon Lovitz, Scott Mosier, Brian O'Halloran, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith
Director: Steve Stark
Screenplay: Kevin Smith
Review published May 8, 2014
The first half is OK, the second terrible in this Kevin Smith-penned animated feature that takes the same five crude joke themes (farts, masturbation, fellatio, weed, and gay/lesbian innuendo) and recycles them over and over until the (thankfully) not-long-in-coming end. As a video meant primarily for fans of the characters from the live-action View Askew-verse, it's a bonus of sorts, but don't expect quality remotely close to the short-lived "Clerks" animated series for television. The feature had been created for fans who would come out to see Smith (Zack & Miri, Clerks II) and Jason Mewes (Bottoms Up, RSVP) perform their "Jay & Silent Bob Get Old" podcast efforts on stage, and to keep the support going for the next entry in the View Askew saga, Clerks 3, but it has been subsequently released as a standalone feature for home video.
In this story, Silent Bob scratches a winning lottery ticket, which he utilizes in order to start his life of costumed crime-fighting, with his partner Jay as his sidekick. The duo become Bluntman & Chronic, and through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, they have induced the ire of several people who decide to band together to form a super-villain organization of sorts called the League of Shitters.
Steve Stark provides the primitive animation, which feels as though it were done in Flash on a home computer. It's not bad, but definitely not a highlight. When the boys are just roaming around their town getting into typical shenanigans, the film works in its modest, low-aiming fashion, not dissimilar to the way Beavis & Butthead might do if they were given an R-rated license. Lots of references to comic book characters, from Green Lantern to Batman to Spider-Man, abound, a precursor to the costumed superhero story that would populate the second half of the film.
Quite frankly, this is the worst of the full-length Kevin Smith efforts featuring the titular characters, and its limited appeal means that only die-hard fanboys of Kevin Smith need apply. While the animation, scoring, voice work, and songs are good enough to impress, it's Smith's own writing that torpedoes the entire production, as it feels as if he wrote it while on autopilot, pulling out the same overused raunchy gags without anything new or clever to add. As a longtime fan of Kevin Smith's, it's very disappointing to get a confirmation of my suspicions that he has nothing in the tank anymore from a comedic standpoint but the fixation on bodily emissions. (Smith's film ends with the little ditty, "Fuck a Critic in the Mouth", so I already have his response for my last statement.)
©2014 Vince Leo