THERE tends to be two reactions if you mention Kevin Smith in conversation.

You will either be greeted with a blank look and a shrug or a warm smile and a nod of recognition that will probably lead to a whole conversation about the filmmaker’s back catalogue. The New Jersey writer and director’s work has become more insular and niche as he has gone along. He started with cult classics like Clerks and Mallrats, dabbled with the mainstream with Chasing Amy, Dogma, Red State and Zack and Miri and then – leaving the flops (Jersey Girl, Cop Out) and oddities (Tusk, Yoga Hosers) to one side – more recently he has immersed himself back into the world of stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob with mixed results.

Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) have featured in much of the filmmaker’s work since the 90s as side characters and their hijinks spoke to a generation of adoring geeks. But Smith has often talked about retiring the crude but lovable duo and it is probably time after the disappointing and half baked, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

This time the pair are off to Hollywood to stop a reboot of their ‘Bluntman and Chronic’ movie being made but their plans are disrupted when Jay discovers a daughter he never knew he had.

The film takes fan service to another level with a wormhole of in-references, which will be completely lost on new audiences, plus knowing cameos for the sake of it. The indulgence does not stop there with Smith casting his daughter Harley in one of the main roles and the in-references reach a new level of meta when Smith appears as himself. If you are a fan of the likes of Clerks and Mallrats, Reboot will raise a smile and you will get the odd nostalgic glow.

But that wears off quickly, only leaving frustrated viewers with a pointless, indulgent mess. Smith is a hugely likeable character and you can only admire his happy go lucky ‘if I can do this anyone can’ persona but it’s time for something new.

RATING: 4/10