Best & Worst: Kevin Smith

15 years of highs and lows with the king of stoner cinema

With his trademark slacker yakking, unashamed underdog championing and stream of Star Wars references Kevin Smith has probably amassed enough geek goodwill to last him a lifetime.

But his scattergun 15-year career has also contained some credulity-twanging moments sturdy enough to test even the hardiest Clerks-loving fanboy’s resolve.

His latest movie A Couple Of Dicks is going casting crazy , so we've decided to brave giant poop monsters, donkey shows and stink palm pretzels to guide you through Kev’s greatest hits and occasional misses.

 

Best & Worst: Speech

 

The Best: Silent Bob Speaks

Film: Chasing Amy (1997)

Why It Rocks: It wasn’t the first or last time monged out mute Silent Bob (Kevin Smith, plus unconvincing wig) would poignantly break his silence in a ViewAskewniverse film.


But the sage-like wisdom in this sombre speech about love and loss is both unexpected and terrific. Plus he handily explains the movie’s head-scratchy title ("So I've spent every day since then chasing Amy... so to speak."). Snooch.

The Worst: Let’s Make A Porno

Film: Erm, Zak And Miri Make A Porno (2008)

Why It Sucks: The eye-rollingly unrealistic central conceit that hard-up buddies Zack and Miri would decide to make a skin flick was probably what ultimately sank Kev’s tepidly received last movie.

Despite game delivery from Seth Rogen (“Porn has gone mainstream now, it’s like Coca-Cola or Pepsi. With dicks in it!”) this speech is the flimsy foundation that eventually brings the whole thing crashing down.

Next: Insult

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Best & Worst: Insult

 

The Best: LOTR vs Star Wars


Film: Clerks II (2006)

Why It Rocks: Kevin Smith hands Peter Jackson’s middle earth amblers a beat-down. How? In the form of Star Wars acolyte Randal’s (Jeff Anderson) withering description of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy as “just a bunch of walkin’”.

Cue threats from the Tolkien head to “kick his ass back to the Shire” and spew all over the Mooby’s floor.

The Worst: The Giant Poop Monster

Film: Dogma (1999)

Next: Sentimental Scene

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Best & Worst: Sentimental Scene

The Best: Randal’s Jail Rant

Film: Clerks II (2006)

Why It Rocks: After an “interspecies sex show” lands them in the slammer Randal lets rip at best pal Dante (Brian O’Halloran) but soon suggests they buy the singed Quick Stop to reopen it and confesses his strictly (hetero) undying love for him.

Aww. See? It’s not all knob jokes, sweary dialogue and scatological humour. We could have also plumped for the scene where father-to-be Dante spots a sweet gap-toothed girl from his car (she’s played by Smith’s daughter Harley fact fans!)

The Worst: All 102 Minutes Of Jersey Girl

Film: Jersey Girl (2004)

Why It Sucks: It might have been unfairly affected by the Hollywood clusterbomb that was “Bennifer” but Kevin’s brief foray into mainstream family flicks was unwise.

The cinematic equivalent of mainlining treacle this clunker had all the hallmarks of the gloopy rom-com. Overwrought tragedy? Check. Cutesy kid? Check. Ben Affleck in furrow-browed lunk mode? Double-check.

Next: Jay And Silent Bob

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Best & Worst: Jay And Silent Bob Scene  

The Best: Beserker!

Film: Clerks (1994)

Why It Rocks: It’s got everything. Bob sucking a smoke silently in the background. Jay yammering on like a kid who thought speed was sherbet in the foreground. A near-constant stream of swears. Really, all that’s missing is a nooch.

The mushroom-haired Russian may get the main yucks, but it’s Jay and Bob who command the screen; Jay’s awkward charisma is never overshadowed.

Scenes with simple originality and charm like this were sorely missed by the time the bloated Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back rolled around…

The Worst: The Diamond Heist

Film: Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Why It Sucks: The dope-slinging duo encounter a catsuit-clad girl gang – featuring Ali Larter from Heroes, Eliza Dushku, Shannon Elizabeth and Smith’s wife Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith.

Next thing our heroes are being framed for a preposterously acrobatic diamond heist that ends with Chrissy (Ali Larter) setting off the alarm with a loud fart. A stinker, in every sense of the word.

Next: Sex Act

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Best & Worst: Sex Act

Next: Cameo

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Best & Worst: Cameo

The Best: Alanis Morisette is God

Film: Dogma (1999)

Why It Rocks: No wonder he received death threats for his iconoclastic move into big-budget movies. Kevin Smith popped the blasphemous cherry atop his Catholic-baiting cake by casting rock singer Alanis Morisette as the Lord Almighty.

This annoyed hard-line religious type and people still smarting over the inaccuracies in the song Ironic in equal measure.

The Worst: Mark Hammill As The Cock-Knocker

Film: Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

Next: Ben Affleck Moment

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Best & Worst: Ben Affleck Moment

The Best: Holden’s love confession

Film: Chasing Amy (1997)

Why It Rocks: Kevin Smith undoubtedly turned his buddy Ben Affleck into the blazing Hollywood star he is/was.

And this scene where Holden sweetly professes his love for lesbian friend Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) in a rain-soaked car displays the likeable leading man chops that would lead to starring roles in Good Will Hunting, Armageddon and, erm, Daredevil.

Why It Sucks: It’s not that Affleck isn’t convincing as Shannon – the greaseball shop clerk from snooty clothes shop Fashionable Male, intent on having sex with Rene (Shannen Doherty) “in a very uncomfortable place”.

It’s almost that he’s too convincing. The pomaded, Farrah slack-wearing perv is one of Affleck’s most unlikeable characters to date. No mean feat for a man that was in Gigli.

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