Directed by Kevin Smith.
Written by Kevin Smith.
Starring Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson and
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 7/26/06
To make sure I was in "the now", I watched
the original "Clerks" two nights ago. I didn't love it as much
as when I first watched it, but it was still funny, from the crazy
anti-smoking nut (that happened to work for a gum distributor) to
the high volume of guys that Dante's girlfriend blew to the way that
Randal stepped all over every customer he meets. The
rapid-fire, obviously-rehearsed dialogue worked because the shit was
just funny; the black-and-white film only makes the thing more
special because you know how low-budget the whole thing is.
Here's what I know about "Clerks II", and my
friend Danielle can help back this up because she was sitting there
right next to me--despite two or three VERY funny scenes, "Clerks
II" should have never been made. Obviously, "Clerks" put
writer/director/Silent Bob star Kevin Smith on the map, but I don't
think it was wise to tap back into the thing that made him a big
star. Here's what else I know about "Clerks II", which is
strangely similar to
the Water" in many ways:
We knew it before, we know it now:
stars Brian O'Halloran (Dante) and Jeff Anderson (Randal) just
aren't very good actors. O'Halloran gets away with it a
little more because he's always whining, but even in the
original, you knew that those two were never going to be
break-out stars, and true-to-form, in the 12 years since the
original, these two have really only appeared in Smith's other
films. Speaking of which,
Now that we can look at his entire body
of work, you've got to admit--Kevin Smith is a very average,
maybe even below-average, writer/director. His appeal to
the nerd population saves movies like "Chasing Amy" because
everyone loves "Star Wars" jibes and lesbians, but if you take
"Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (funny ONLY if you have
seen all of Smith's other films), the other movies Smith has
made--"Mallrats", "Jersey Girl", and
addition to "Clerks II"--are somewhere between blah and fucking
awful dogshit. Is it fair to say that he just got lucky
with the original "Clerks"? I think so.
You can be as obscene as possible--and
"Clerks II" crosses every line in the book, leading up to the
worst sex scene imaginable--but at some point you've still got
to be kinda funny. Once again, the Jay (Jason Mewes) and
Silent Bob combo provides a few laughs, although Mewes'
one-trick pony of constant profanity doesn't work as well here
as in past Smith films. The addition of Rosario Dawson as
the manager of the new store where Dante and Randal work gives
us sex appeal but not much comedy; the laughs provided by
third-wheel employee Elias (Trevor Fehrman) are great in one
scene, but generally are non-existent. A silly dance
number and another silly montage don't work that well
either...and, like the original "Clerks", we spend a bit too
much time on Dante's relationships with various women.
And then, other things that made the
original "Clerks" so good are not on display here. Little
things are gone, like the segways in-between each scene...bigger
things, like peculiar customers, are the real missing link here,
since only cameos by Smith regular Jason Lee and a short scene with
Wanda Sykes really register. Given all of the people that have
starred in past Smith films, are you telling me he couldn't get a
better scene for Ben Affleck, or any scenes at all for Joey Lauren
Adams, or Chris Rock, or Matt Damon, or Shannon Doherty???
And, am I really to believe that Smith--a world-renowned comic lover
and someone that I would imagine liked the "Lord of the Rings" films
due to their fantasy background--would spend five minutes trashing
everything about the Peter Jackson films?
Like I said above, "Clerks II" has a couple
of absolutely hilarious scenes, but they are not enough to make the
film rise much above a home viewing. I certainly wouldn't want
to see it again; there's aren't even the kind of lines that I'll be
repeating to friends later. Very disappointing; again, I would
never have made a sequel to my meal ticket if I were Smith, but
that's why he's making the movies and I'm trashing them.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard