Monday, March 30, 2015

Disappointment From A Previously-Reliable Franchise: Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie!

The Good: One or two jokes, General voice performances
The Bad: Animation style, Plot, Characters, Not funny, Repetitive
The Basics: Kevin Smith cashes in on the love of his two beloved characters Jay and Silent Bob with Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, a fairly short film that is bound to disappoint even the most die-hard fans of Kevin Smith's works!

Perhaps the first rule of making a film intended for fans of a certain person's works is to make sure that the fans do not already have access to the material. Kevin Smith may have written the script for Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie before handing it over to Steve Stark to direct, but it is hard for fans of Smith's works to call it an original work. Smith uses the opportunity of making a small animated film to take ideas, deleted scenes, outtakes, scrapped lines and commentary jokes from prior works and cobbles them into a script for a film so short it is not even feature-length.

Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie lifts most of its content from the Bluntman And Chronic graphic novel and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (reviewed here!), when it is not making dick, fart, and gay jokes alongside the weakest of super hero comic book (and comic book movie) jokes/commentaries. Despite occurring in Red Bank, New Jersey and including the familiar characters of Jay, Silent Bob and Dante Hicks, Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie does not fit into the canon of the rest of the View Askewniverse. It's hard to say that Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie fits into the Askewniverse when it fails to reference that (in the View Askewniverse), Jay and Silent Bob were already the subject of a comic book and a comic book movie. In other words , if Bluntman and Chronic popped up in the "real world' of the View Askewniverse, the media and residents of Red Bank there would see them as mere copycats of the comic book characters that Banky based on Jay And Silent Bob.

Such analysis is far more high-minded than the content of Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, a film that once again utilizes Kevin Smith's disdain for movie critics on the internet as an attempt to forestall criticism of this particular film. The truth is, after growing as a writer with some bigger (and better) themes over the course of his last few films, Smith reverts to the most immature, droll and un-funny jokes of his career. Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is notable most for not being funny and for using Jay and Silent Bob in ways they have never expressed in any of their prior adventures. Despite referencing Wolvering in Mallrats (reviewed here!), Jay has never illustrated any interest in comic books or super heroes and from the few lines Silent Bob has spoken, his passion has been for movies of the 1980s, as opposed to comic books or superhero films.

This is germane because Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is essentially a parody of a super hero film wherein Jay and Silent Bob become vigilante super heroes on Red Bank, NJ.

While handing around outside RST Video, Jay laments the plight of the small-time drug dealer as legalized weed becomes more and more prevalent. There, they encounter various staples of super hero origin stories - an alien with a power ring crashes in the parking lot, they squash a radioactive spider in a nearby lab, and they try for eligibility to become super soldiers (but refuse when they have to get injected drugs, as opposed to smoking the serum) - before returning to the Quick Stop with five dollars each. Silent Bob uses the cash to get some scratch-off lottery tickets and he manages to win a million dollars.

They use the money to buy gadgets, costumes, and a lair (the Bluntcave) and they assume the alter-egos of Bluntman and Chronic. When they aren't getting high or spying on local lesbians, they break into local warehouses to get free stuff (under Jay's theory it's what they are owed for being superheroes). In the process, they make a number of supervillains who are broken out of the local asylum by Lipstick Lesbian, a woman slighted by Jay's offhanded remark. This leaves the duo at the mercy of a number of adversaries who they have to legitimately stop to protect Red Bank.

Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is based around a line from Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back that ended up as a deleted scene and while it is a hilarious joke, it is not enough to build a movie around.

The animation in Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie is similar to that of Aqua Teen Hunger Force - blending animation with a few live-action elements like explosions. The voice work is fine. Eliza Dushku is decent as Lipstick Lesbian and Tara Strong gives her usual, solid, voiceover performance as Cocknocker. Jason Mewes gives an unremarkable performance for Jay and he's forcing my wife and I to go back to prior View Askew films to see if Jay actually used the word "sir" in talking to Silent Bob as much as he does in this sixty-four minute piece of crap.

At least going back through the other View Askew works is a more enjoyable use of time than considering Jay And Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie for even a minute more!

For other works by Kevin Smith, please visit my reviews of:
Chasing Amy
Clerks The Animated Series
Jersey Girl
Clerks II
Zack And Miri Make A Porno
Cop Out
Red State


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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