Ah, Clerks. That's a movie that takes me back to the Fall of '94. I was nineteen then. Pissing away an education in the interest of keeping the homefront peaceful, getting bent, having a generally twisted time in combination with one of the most memorable years at the movies. We were getting hit with Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Leon (The Professional), Ed Wood and of course Clerks. A lot of great movies coming out, but what made the latter stick out from the rest was it was made for $27,500 on credit cards by a young jerk-off named Kevin Smith and once it became this big thing it was almost more of a message of hope than a potty-mouthed independent comedy fueled by dick and fart jokes. He was one of our own and we loved him.
Smith took guerilla filmmaking up a notch and then remade Clerks, only this time in a mall. Jay and Silent Bob return. They also return in Chasing Amy, which was Smith's way of coming to terms with then-girlfriend and star Joey Lauren Adams being a total whore. Adams dumps Smith for Vince Vaughn as Jay and Silent Bob return. Again. Suddenly Smith completes Dogma, which he'd been promising since the credits of Clerks, and stirs up controversy. Buys himself another 15 minutes. Jay and Silent Bob return yet again and then end up running the show in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which basically amounted to a 104-minute dick joke. Smith was supposedly done with Jay and Silent Bob and they did not return in Smith's sappy Jersey Girl, which was the only good thing about it.
So after much deliberation, putting together an anniversary edition of Clerks and realizing that his career won't amount to a hill of rats' asses without these characters, Smith has put out Clerks II. He said when putting together the 10th anniversary DVD of Clerks together that he fell in love with the characters all over again. I'm sure his bank statement missed them too.
So we've got the same cast of losers in basically the same situations they werein 12 years ago same crappy jobs, same stupid relationship problems. Same jokes,same trite enunciation of the same dialogues/pop culture debates. There are alsomore of the same characters and actors. The only draw was Rosario Dawson, oneof the only women alive whose bathwater is drinkable. And nutritious!
Clerks II almost entirely lacks the tenacity that the original Clerks had. You could tell with the original that there was a personal and organic part of Smith living and breathing in that movie. At this point, despite a few well-deserved laughs, the whole thing seems devised as a way to make sure Jason Mewes has a job. I think what may have been the most unsettling thing about Clerks II was seeing Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson as Dante and Randal, respectively, in color. Either that or the sentimentality. I haven't decided yet. And I probably never will bother to.
Lady In The Water | Clerks II | You Me And Dupree
Little Man | My Super Ex-Girlfriend | Strangers With Candy