Opening 12 Jul 2007
Twelve years after the successful film Clerks, writer-director-actor Kevin Smith comes back with a sequel, which is always a courageous move unless it’s The Godfather. Here, the old Quickstop general store has closed due to a ferocious fire. Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randall (Jeff Anderson) take up employment in the local Mooby’s, which is a knock off of a MacDonald’s fast-food restaurant. They go through all the paces familiar from Clerks. Silent Bob (Smith) and Jay (Jason Mewes) take up position outside. Randall gives running commentary on drugs, the Bible, the handicapped, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, sex, racism, and Helen Keller whom he calls Anne Frank or vice versa. All this while insulting the clientele, complaining “This job sucks,” and micro-managing the lives of his friends. Dante still doesn’t understand women. He paints Becky’s (Rosario Dawson) toe nails, but plans to marry someone else. “Paint” was a running joke in the original.
In an interview Kevin Smith (Mallrats, Chasing Amy) said that he had no plans to make another low budget New Jersey film, but after experiencing “high budget” with all the trappings and excessive expectations and controls of Hollywood, e.g., Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Jersey Girl, he yearned for the good old days. The sequel is in bright orange, green, purple and red (vs. black and white in the original). The old gang has returned to do homage to their director Kevin Smith, but we can’t ignore that they are all thirteen years older. Jason Mewes’ participation was questionable as he had sunk to drugs, rehab, and clashes with the law. Clerks fans will be happy that the show does go on – with a vengeance, such as a pornographic performance of a man and a large animal. However, to me, adolescent 20-year-old guys without ambition might have been funny in 1995. Now they are 32 and still hopeless, which is no longer amusing. I have several similar relatives on both sides of the family. They would feel validated by Clerks II, but the rest of us find them needy and pitiful. Get a life. (Becky Tan)