Clerks II

David asked me in the comments to my Great Gatsby review to talk about the movie Clerks II. This stuck me as a sufficiently bizarre juxtaposition that I’d just make a whole post about it. And I’m probably going to have to disappoint him on Clerks II, too. There was some funny stuff in there, but the whole movie seemed like one attempt at creating the next big catch phrase after another. To the point where the dialog felt less like Smith’s usual snappy stuff and more like a string of quotations from the signature lines of hardcore Kevin Smith fans. He’s just trying too hard and it’s getting a little awkward.

And hoo boy, the acting was almost uniformly awful. The guys playing Randal and Dante don’t seem to have much of a career outside of Kevin Smith movies, and I can guess why. The only member of the cast who seems to have much acting talent is Rosario Dawson, who plays the restaurant manager Becky. And it doesn’t help that she looks good, too, though it’s hard not to find the rooftop dancing scene gratuitous. …But I’m not complaining.

Also, I’m getting tired of Jay and Silent Bob. They had their big movie (which was actually a lot funnier than this one), time to reduce them to cameo status, please.

The one redeeming quality about Clerks II was how it ended. SPOILERS HERE if you haven’t seen it:

Randal and Dante choose to not only stay in Jersey, they choose to purchase and re-open the convenience store and run it themselves. This is kind of the slacker’s version of Sophie’s Choice, and they choose to grab their their misery with both hands and own it. It is, ironically, a full out rejection of the American Dream –they’d rather be masters of their own slackerdom than slaves to a more rewarding and ostensibly better life away from their roots.

It’s this kind of touch that reminds me that Smith can be really talented and that he’s the same guy who directed something like Chasing Amy. But while Clerks II had a few laugh out loud moments, but it’s too stilted, it tries too hard, and by the end I was just tired of it.

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One thought on “Clerks II

  1. You’re just sore because they poke fun at Lord of the Rings. I got the dvd for Christmas and watched all the extra stuff. What I like about Kevin Smith is he puts a lot of cool stuff on them, so it makes it worthwile to spend the $15 bucks. There is a 90 minute documentary on making the movie and it was pretty enjoyable. I didn’t know Jay had a major drug problem and that is why he wasn’t in Jersey Girl. There’s also a lot of background with Dante and Randall and reasons why it was very hard to convince Randall to do the movie. As you mentioned in your blog, he’s not an actor and took (still takes) a lot of shit for being constantly reminded of his character.

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