Written and Directed
by Kevin Smith
Running Time: 1:41
for some intense action violence.
Clerks II was a very funny, and very demented, film and was arguably Kevin Smith's best film since the original.
10 years later, Randal and Dante are still working at the Quick Stop, until it burns down. Fast forward another year and the two of them have moved over to Mooby's, a fast food restaurant. Dante, however, is engaged and ready to move to Florida with his fiancé, where he'll get a new house (from her parents) and be in charge of a car wash (also, from her parents.) But Dante also has a thing for his boss at Mooby's, Becky, who has a secret of her own. Randal is upset that his friend is leaving, but isn't sure how to express it. And of course Jay and Silent Bob are back outside, selling dope and dancing up a storm.
To me, the original Clerks was one of the funniest movies I had ever seen. It wasn't pretty to look at, the actors were horrendous, but the dialogue was quick witted and sharp and completely outrageous (who doesn't remember what a snowball is?) The sequel starts (and finishes) with a tribute to the original's black & white look, but brings the look and feel of the picture into present day. The acting has gotten better, and the presence of Rosario Dawson throughout the entire film certainly helps. Visually, the movie is crisper and cleaner (and in color.) But most importantly, the dialogue is still as sharp as ever. In the original there was a long conversation about the Death Star (from Star Wars) and whether the people working on the Death Star were contract workers who knew what they were getting into, or just innocents who shouldn't have been killed. The entire conversation is pointless and ultimately leads nowhere, but it was funny how earnestly everyone took it. In Clerks II, there's another long conversation about which trilogy is better, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. It's taken so seriously by the characters, that one of them throws up. Again, the entire conversation has no purpose except that it's just plain funny. And there are many such conversations in the movie, including on incredulous one about Pillow Pants, that I can't possibly describe here and do it justice.
What makes Clerks II more mature than the original is that this time it has a heart. What would you do if your best friend suddenly decided he was going to pack up and move to Florida, to marry some woman he wasn't even sure he was in love with? Brian O'Halloran (Dante) and Jeff Anderson (Randal) are never going to be considered great, or even good, actors, but they do manage to show the strains of friendship rather well. You can really see how the two of them would have been friends for their entire lives, even though they are seemingly very different. And when you add in Dante's issue with his fiancé and Becky, there's another mature level that the characters have to deal with. Kevin Smith has dealt with mature issues before, sometimes to great appeal and sometimes not, but I think this time he's managed to make an extremely funny movie with serious points and not lose his audience.
For me, the real treat of these films are Jay and Silent Bob. I love those guys and think they should appear in cameos in every comedy film, whether it's directed by Smith or not. Their characters don't have much to do with the plot this time around, but every time they appear on screen something funny is about to happen. In the story, they've just been released from rehab and have found Christ, which adds another level to their humor. At Mooby's, there's a young, naive worker named Elias who is, unfortunately for him and fortunately for us, the butt end of a lot of Randal's barbs. And there is one extremely demented and horrifying, yet brilliantly funny, scene that takes place towards the end of the film that will leave people talking. All I'll say is, it involves a donkey.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I really enjoyed Clerks II. It's not a perfect film by any means, but it's chock full of laugh out loud scenes and still manages to mix in a serious story line. If you're a fan of the original, as well as other Jay and Silent Bob films, you'll love this one. And if you're not a Kevin Smith fan, I'd still give this one a shot. It may just change your mind. Oh, and if you're a friend of Kevin Smith (or maybe Mooby's) on MySpace, stay tuned after the credits - your name may just appear on screen.
Netflix lets you rent, watch and return DVDs from home – Now from only a month!