Kevin Smith is the subject of some debate amongst my fellow geeks here. Some contend that he’s one of the best directors of all time. Others agree with me: he’s vastly overrated. Until very recently, I don’t think I would have bothered to put him on the dartboard, but … sod it, he asked for it. Controversially, I really like Dogma; it’s just a pity about the rest of his body of work.
Dart One: (20 points)Kevin Smith might be able to write jokes, but he can’t write characters. More specifically, he can’t write believable human characters, and believable human relationships. Chasing Amy is a prime example of this. It just sucks. The main characters are unsympathetic and their situation unrealistic; and casting Ben Affleck as the hero is never a good idea, because the man can only play one character – arrogant jerk. Speaking of arrogant jerks, this movie was also made before Jason Lee found out that “acting” isn’t synonymous with “shouting”, so that wasn’t the greatest casting choice ever either.
As for the fabled “Silent Bob speaks!” monologue, that can bite me. For one thing, it’s wanky, overwritten bullshit. For another, he’s never been quite silent enough for me. Shut your face, yappy Bob.
Dart Two (80 points)Six words for you: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
This film is a fucking abomination. The very height of self-indulgence. Plus, crucially, it’s not funny.Dart Three (Bullseye – 130 points total) It’s fairly obvious from watching his movies that Kevin Smith likes comics. Sadly, it seems like he doesn’t like them enough: every time he’s turned his hand to comic book writing, bad things have happened. His run on Daredevil was plagued with delays. He started a Spider-Man mini-series which ended up having a three-year gap between the first three and last three issues getting published. Another Daredevil project got abandoned, and after a pile of changed deadlines, another Spider-Man project was abandoned too. Missing deadlines is, in my humble opinion, a crime worthy of getting darts thrown at you all by itself, but there’s another issue with his comic books which is more damning.
Kevin Smith retconned the Black Cat’s origins to include getting date raped.
The Evil That Men do is a great looking book, and I have no quibble with the artist, but Smith’s writing is just trash. It’s littered with inappropriate film references, for one thing. It’s wanky, for another, but that’s pretty much a given with Smith. It’s the rape that’s the problem. The book is full of it. And while I would never deny that rape happens, and that it’s a terrible crime, and that sometimes it can be sensitively and accurately portrayed in fiction and might even be necessary in telling some stories, it wasn’t necessary in this one. It doesn’t fit. It feels awkward and… well, it feels misogynist. Having just done a bit of research, I spotted that Smith’s Daredevil run was accused of misogyny, too; I’ve not read that, so I can’t comment, but, well, hmmm.
Kevin Smith is supposedly some great geek saviour. But, ultimately, he’s just not very good.