Given the undying popularity of the superhero movie over the past years it is long past time someone did a proper spoof of the genre. Unfortunately for anyone who is not a fan of crude and juvenile humor, cult filmmaker Kevin Smith beat everyone to the punch with “Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie,” featuring the two small time weed dealers from his View Askew Universe as unlikely superheroes. This is definitely one for the fans, but you can’t accuse Smith of not knowing the source material.
The movie could be described as a labor of love as it was written by Smith and produced by Smith’s long-time friend and on-screen partner in crime Jason Mewes. Steve Stark, the movie’s director, is a Canadian they met in an Internet chat room as proudly announced in the trailer. Like Smith’s “Red State” this animated blend of cartoon tropes was shown as part of a tour followed by a round of Q&A. As an extra bonus it features cameo appearances by Brian O’Halloran of “Clerks” fame and many more staples from the comic book world. So really that is all you need to know to decide whether or not to see this.
The central premise of the movie seems to be what would happen if two hapless bums were to become superhero. Enter Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) who prove that with great power comes great irresponsibility. Through sheer dumb luck the two New Jersey pot dealers win $10 million and decide to go full Batman by building a lair under the “Clerks” convenience store and hire themselves a butler (voice of graphic novel author Neil Gaiman). Together they become Bluntman and Chronic, the worst superheroes in history.
To their credit the do foil the plans of a few criminals, but they much prefer spending their time spying on naked women with their binoculars, smoking weed, and watching pornography in their lair. Like classic superheroes they are also responsible for the creation of their own nemesis. Given Smith had free reins writing the story these are not supervillains you will ever see in a theatre near you.
Escaping from an Arkham Asylum-like prison are Lipstick Lesbian (Eliza Dushku), Cocknocker (Tara Strong), Dick Head (Ralph Garman), Newsgroup (Ben Gleib) and Diddler (Brian Faraldo). Yes, each of these characters are as juvenile as they sound. Scratch that, they are even dumber than that. Kudos have to go to Eliza Dushku for willing to sit in a recording studio to recite lines like “this city belongs to the League of Shitt***!”
Profanity aside, and there is certainly a lot of it, Jay and Silent Bob’s animated adventure does manage to make fun of plenty of comic book movies from Tim Burton’s “Batman” to “Green Lantern” and even takes a welcome jab at Michael Bay’s adaptation of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
The movie is only 64 minutes long, but that is plenty because like most side characters Jay and Silent Bob work better in small doses. Despite even the presence of Stan the Man, this is a comic book movie only for die-hard fans of Smith’s work.
(“Jay and Silent Bob Super Groovy Cartoon Movie” is now available on DVD and Netflix)