Ranking the View Askewniverse Films

A couple weeks ago, I posted my quick thoughts on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. I had initially planned on posting my ranking of all of the View Askewniverse movies shortly after, but I hadn’t had any time to sit down and write it owing to moving the blog to a new host. But nonetheless, it’s finally here and I can talk about each of the films on their own merits, and compared to the others.

I would like to add in that though Zack & Miri Make a Porno, as well as some of the other films Kevin Smith has put out, have retroactively been equated into the Askewniverse, for the purposes of my article, I’m focusing strictly on the main ones that feature Jay and Silent Bob.

 

JUMP TO A RANKING:
07 | 06 | 05 | 04 | 03 | 02 | 01

 

07. Chasing Amy (1997)
Chasing Amy

Blasphemy, I’m sure many of you scream. Yes, Kevin Smith’s most critically acclaimed film in the View Askewniverse is, indeed, my least favourite of the entries. Chasing Amy was made on a modest budget, which really shows his strength as a director in the nineties. Unfortunately, its plot line – one that was seen as progressive when the film first came out – reeks of misunderstanding by today’s standards. And true, it’s not necessarily the fairest thing to hold twenty years of evolving social norms to a movie, but even when I watched it for the first time fifteen years ago, I just remember not really caring for it either.

 

06. Mallrats (1995)
Mallrats

Objectively it’s probably his worst film, and it’s not hard to see why it didn’t get a warm reception when it came out. Regardless of which cut you watch, there seems to be a significant amount of the jokes tend to fall flat for me. Though the theatrical cut is the preferred cut for many, for the most part, I prefer the extended cut. I could do without the extended opening that the extended cut features, but overall, I feel like the jokes all tend to carry on better. The theatrical cut was probably a wiser choice to release, and it even ties in better with Clerks by changing certain parts of the storyline to centre around Julia Dwyer’s death. But that said, this movie doesn’t seem like it should take place a day before Clerks, especially when you factor in that Jay and Silent Bob look drastically different and aren’t even at the Quick Stop.

 

05. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Honestly, I could swap back and forth between Strike Back and Reboot, but I’m ultimately giving Reboot the slight edge this time around. Though it’s still a zany film, Strike Back manages to pull off having Jay and Silent Bob as the leads, and pay loving homage to the prior four entries. Despite the original plans for it to be the “final” film in the franchise, the fact that I’ve ranked both of the entires that came after this above it shows that I’m glad they decided to keep going.

 

04. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

I made some briefs comments about the film in a prior post, and those still ring true to me. Reboot doesn’t make much sense if you haven’t seen all of the films that came before it, but it’s clearly meant to be a film for the fans. I appreciated the film’s humour and the plethora of wink-wink-nudge-nudge moments, even if a few of them were a bit too on-the-nose for me. There is a sense of heart and camaraderie that are present throughout the entire film, as we get to see just how much the Askewniverse has grown since it started with Clerks. Its that heart that helps carry the film’s more thematic moments into the final act, and ends it on a nice note. The brief post-credits scene was a nice touch as well.

 

03. Dogma (1999)
Dogma

The most controversial of Kevin Smith’s films, Dogma nonetheless takes it spot in third place for me – and it’s not just ranked this high because of Alanis Morissette’s presence in it. Dogma is, at least to me,  Kevin Smith’s magnum opus – a comedy that manages to intertwine religion, social commentary on abortion, and buddy road-trip films of the past. Dogma will always be shrouded in its controversy with the Catholic church (the controversy was even touched upon in Reboot with a comedic quip), but it still shines and manages to stand on its own.

 

02. Clerks II (2006)
Clerks II

Perhaps it’s cliché to have both Clerks films as my top two, but here we are. After the reaction to Jersey Girl, the initial response to a Clerks II perhaps wasn’t surprising, though it was rough in retrospect. While I was excited when I first heard the news of a Clerks II happening, I was still cautious since I wasn’t sure where the plot could go for Dante and Randal. In the ends, Clerks II was a great addition and direct follow-up to the first film. The addition of Rosario Dawson as Becky and Trevor Fehrman as Elias to the group of characters was a wise decision, and I hope that when we do finally get Clerks III that both of them return.

 

01. Clerks (1993/1994)
Clerks.

After all of that, it means that the Askewniverse movie I’m giving top honours to is none other than the one that started it all, Clerks. Though I didn’t see Clerks until after the release of Strike Back, and was perhaps not old enough to understand the nuances of why so many people related to it – both from my age and from being removed from the early 90s generation. Throughout my teenage and young adult years, though, was when I really latched onto Clerks. While it was always one of my favourite movies, it was going out on my own that really made me understand fully why Clerks was so beloved when it was first released.

 

What do you think about the films? Have you seen them all, and do you love Clerks as well? Let’s talk about it!

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