Review: Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie

jsbsgcm

I got to see Kevin Smith live with Ralph Garman present their show, Hollywood Babble-On, live in London recently and along with the live podcast we were subjected to a showing of Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (JASBSGCM) and a Q & A with Smith and Jason Mewes, the producers of said movie.

Luckily the podcast came first, and was hilarious. unfortunately, the movie was never going to live up to live comedy entertainment chit-chat. I’d heard fairly mixed reviews from people and really wanted to like it as I’ve been a fan of Smith’s films and podcasts for nearly 15 years now.

The source material comes from a three issue comic series published in 2001 and links into the making of a Bluntman & Chronic film in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. The cartoon movie draws quite heavily on this, but has updated its comic book movie references to bring it up to date. The problem is that the humour hasn’t aged well, unless you really enjoy gratuitous dick jokes, fart jokes, drug references and swearing… which can be funny, in moderation. There is no moderation in this film.

Usually, Smith’s films are very dialogue heavy and intelligently written, which counteracts the profanity, JASBSGCM – on the other hand – sounds like it’s been written by a 12-year-old boy. This reflects the fact that all the creative control was taken on by Mewes who has little, if no, experience of producing a script, let alone a film. This is reflected in the film’s budget – $69,000. Hilarious.

Had the animator/director, Steve Stark, had more to play with and not been restricted by a joke number budget perhaps he would have been able to use better software, or put more effort in. It is sub-par. I thought it looked like Ren & Stimpy while watching it, but having looked at the artwork for Ren & Stimpy, this looks even worse.

It’s not all awful, there are some funny moments, but they are outweighed by the moments of slack, especially in the middle section, during which the audience went very quiet. And this is the perfect audience for the film to play to, which is an indicator of how far JASBSGCM misses the mark.

This film is truly for the Kevin Smith completest only and even them only in a room full of other fans. Why not just spend a small amount of money on the comic books instead? They’re better.

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