Running Time: 97 minutes
Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Rosario Dawson, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Trevor Fehrman
Directed By: Kevin Smith
Rating: 6 out of 10
Two friends are forced to work at a fast food place after their former place of business burns down.
Jay and Silent Bob have gotten old, and that is a very scary realization. For if they have gotten old, then most of their fans have gotten old as well. It has been 12 long years in between the first and second Clerks movies, so we were due for some more bantering from Randal and Dante. Clerks 2, is the story of two guys named, Dante and Randall. After the convenience store they work at burns down, they try their hand at fast food service.
This is why I love Kevin Smith as a director and as a writer. The first Clerks movie was a display of cinematic mastery. A limited budget didn’t hinder the finished black and white product, and it took its place as one of my favorite comedies ever. Instead of sullying the first movies image by copying the same format, he took this movie main stream and it worked for the most part. After a quick introduction where we see Dante and Randall’s workplace burn down, the film gets underway at Moobys. Mooby’s, is a fictional fast food place where Dante and Randal can slack, and discuss various things about love and life. At points this film is laugh out loud funny and at others it seems to be trying way too hard, but it is always an easy watch. With the introduction of a lot more characters than the first, this movie broadens its topic range to hilarious results. Randal no longer has just Dante to bitch at, and this is where the movie works best. Randal interacts with the customers and other co workers, and offers his opinions on everything from Lord of the Rings versus Star Wars, to the appropriateness of certain sexual positions. No topic is taboo, and even a donkey show makes an appearance in this film. Some people might miss the long extended dialogue from the first film, but I found this film trying to make it on its own merits and I applauded the original effort.
The acting is passable, but more importantly the characters are great, so it hardly matters. Randal played by Jeff Anderson, steals the show again. His cynical view of the world and relationships, will have you laughing right through this film. His conversations with a virginal co worker named Elias (Trevor Fehrman), lead to the best parts of the movie. Dante played by Brian O’Halloran, lost some of his magic from the first. I know the movie had to evolve and grow, but he never connects with Anderson like he did in the first film and that is disappointing. Jay and Silent Bob, played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, are back and are hilarious as always. It is worth checking this movie out just to see Jay dancing to the song Goodbye Horses, from the Silence of the Lambs. Mooby’s manager, is played by Rosario Dawson, and she does a good job of adding a little normalcy to a film that is so over the top.
Obviously this film has problems or it would have scored better on the rating scale. There is a song and dance sequence to the Jackson 5’s, ABC, that is way out of place. I normally love dance montages but this was a big miss for me. I also found this film had way too much of a serious love angle for my tastes. This is a crude comedy, but Dante’s relationship problems are constantly brought up, and it makes this film lose some of its comedic power. The first movie had Dante’s relationships lead to humor and dialogue. In Clerks 2, Dante’s relationships change this film into almost a romantic comedy, killing some of its charm. The film works more than it doesn’t, and any time a movie mentions something called a pussy troll, it can’t be all bad.
I have said it before and I will say it again, Kevin Smith knows his audience, and more importantly knows how to make people laugh. He has taken his tried and tested characters and delivers them to all the right places in this film. He mixes a decent amount of funny pop culture references, with a decent amount of crude sex humor, and it works. He doesn’t just regurgitate the same stuff from the first film. This may upset some people, but I thought it was the right call. He could have left out the dance montage and dialed down the relationship scenes, but this film is funny regardless.
I give this movie a recommendation, and hopefully this means there will be a Jay and Silent Bob 2 movie, at some point in the future.
T Factor + If you like Kevin Smith movies than this could score much higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you were looking for a similar movie to the first Clerks than this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Old School.