Distributed By: View Askew Productions
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Anyone who knows anything about me, knows that Clerks was one of my favorite movies of all time. That it was an independent, low budget film, only served to fuel my love for the offbeat, original piece of film history. So when I heard about the release of Clerks II, the long awaited—direct—sequel to one of my favorite movies of all time, I jumped at the chance to watch and review it.
In Clerks II, Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson reprise their roles as Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, two clerks with a cynical view on life and a mouth full of social commentaries. Though their personalities are polarized—Randall being the most outspoken and raunchy, while Dante is the meeker, docile one—the two have a strong bond of friendship and their differing opinions serve as host for some funny and often insightful dialogues.
In this latest installment of Kevin Smith’s movies, Dante—who never rose to the success he’d aspired to reach at the end of the first Clerks movie—goes to work one day to find the Quick Stop burned down. A year later, he and fellow clerk, Randall are working at Mooby’s fast food restaurant, living relatively the same lives as before. Only now, Dante is engaged to Emma (Jennifer Smith), and is one day away from moving down to Florida to live with his bride-to-be in a house bought for them by her parents.
Randall, being Randall, defiler of all things sweet and sacred, decides to throw his lifelong buddy a going away party of the caliber only Kevin Smith’s deranged mind can fashion. Add to the mix Becky (Rosario Dawson of Rent), Dante’s boss and anti-romantic friend, and Elias (Trevor Fehrman), super-Christian and Transformer fanatic, and you have a recipe for laughter, tension, and a couple of “Oh my God!” moments of mischief.
There are a couple of genuine moments of openness and friendship in the room, as when Randall confesses to Dante why he races go-carts when he’s depressed. There are, of course, a string of unbelievable, outrageous, and sadly, not unrealistic moments in the movie that will have you laughing out loud. Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reprise their role as the infamous Jay and Silent Bob, adding the perfect icing on the cake. And, being a Kevin Smith film, the movie does comment about life much in the same way that original Clerks did, finding the gem of knowledge in the lives of two overgrown children whose lives are seemingly going nowhere. You’ve got to love Mr. Smith’s satirical style, mixed with his lowbrow humor and razor-sharp analysis of the world in which we live.
In case you missed my point amid the ass-kissing, let me say it plainly: Go see the movie. You will not regret it…unless you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings, in which case, you might want to cover your ears when Randall goes into his diatribe to Elias about which trilogy was better, Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings. It might hurt your feelings—especially if you’re a hobbit.