Movie Review: Clerks 2
This weekend the irreverent and shocking comedy of writer/director Kevin Smith returned to its roots with the big budget nationwide release of Clerks 2 . This long awaited sequel to Smith's breakout smash returns us to the small New Jersey town with our intrepid heroes Dante and Randall. This time around the boys are working at a burger joint after the Quick Stop burned in a tragic coffee pot accident. Thankfully Jay and Silent Bob are back to provide their street wisdom and witty commentary about life, liberty, and everything suburban. As Jay so eloquently offers up when asked by some teens if they were holding, " Shit, everything but coke, heroin, and your cock." Indeed Mr. Jay. Indeed.
This time around we got some better casting and bigger set budget. Mooby's, the Golden Arch inspired fast food joint where the boys find themselves working, is a great satire of our big burger fast food empire rolling across the American landscape. With its cutesy named combo meals and sanitized plastic "play area", it's an every town joint that Smith can sell so easily with his satirical humor and no holds barred attitude. Make no mistake, this is not a big budget Hollywood extravaganza, but its got all the elements to make an exceptionally funny movie.
Cameos abound in this movie, from "My Name is Earl"'s Ethan Suplee and Jason Lee to Wanda Sikes and stand up comedian Earthquake . And of course Kevin Smith's man-love shines on for a brief appearance by Mr. Daredevil himself, Ben Affleck.
"Phantoms WAS THE BOMB, YO!"
Smith tells a great story full of our pop culture influences and the choices we force upon ourselves. If any one person in Hollywood has his finger on what its like to be "US" right now, I have got to say its Kevin Smith.
Acting Lessons. Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson have come a long way from the original Clerks. The first movie was well written but poorly executed. The dialog between characters felt more like pieced together monologues. In Clerks 2, these issues were nullified. The conversations moved dynamically and set a much more believable pace. The addition of Rosario Dawson really helped bring the characters together. Everyone played their roles well and it helped maintain the great setting for this movie.
I would have liked to have had more back story developed with the characters. We know Dante and Randall are best friends and we learn exactly what that means as the movie progresses, but we don't ever find out why. Also, what happened to Veronica and Caitlin? Or Snowball?
The ending was a bit too contrite as well. While it provided true closure to the story, it just seemed... I don't know, perfect? And these characters lives were so far from perfect, it stood out as almost too easy.
Some questionable moral lines were crossed in this movie. From ATM discussions to Interspecies Erotica, this movie had it all. If the porch monkey conversation didn't offend you (apparently, we are taking it back) then the religiously crazed teenage co-worker masturbating while crying and apologizing to Jesus surely will. But here is the rub. It's funny. Uproariously funny in fact. Rarely do I laugh out loud in a theater, but not here. As uncomfortable as I felt laughing, I couldn't help it.
This movie cements Kevin Smith as a hero to our generation. He understands us, he makes us laugh, and he doesn't apologize for it. There was some controversy about this movie at a recent film critics screening when ABC's "Good Morning America" terribly un punny movie critic, Joel Siegel, jumped up and disrupted the entire film by storming out of the theater yelling obscenities about how this movie was terrible and.... well... obscene... (Irony, thy name is "Hollywood"). Not only did Kevin Smith respond on his blog, but confronted Siegel on the Opie and Anthony radio show. Kevin Smith knows his fans and knows his comedy. Who else would make a million dollar film and run their entire myspace friends list in the credits? You think James Cameron or Micheal Bay would do that? I hate myspace, but that was just cool.
4.5 out of 5 memestars
Sometimes I wish I'd done a little more with my life instead of just hanging out in front of places. Maybe be an animal doctor. Why not me? I like seals and shit. Or maybe be an astronaut. Go into space and shit. Be the first to find a new alien lifeform... and fuck it. People would be, like, "there he goes. Boy fucked a martian once." - Jay