Kevin Smith made Clerks in 1994, the whole "Generation
was just beginning to find its voice. Over-educated and underpaid men
were trying to make it in a world where a college degree was the equivalent
of a high school diploma. Having a college education didn't mean finding
it just meant you'd be in debt up to your eyeballs but still be working
behind a cash register, wearing a nametag, and going home to your parents'
place until things "fell into place." For
Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), things never
really fell into place.
Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson,
and Rosario Dawson
years after Clerks, they're still working behind a counter,
wearing nametags, and waiting for things to happen to make
their lives meaningful. About the only thing that's changed is the
location. No longer working at the Quik Stop Convenience Store, they
now work at
Mooby's, a burger joint. Dante, however, is planning to leave New Jersey.
He's actually found a girlfriend, gotten engaged, and is about to move
to Florida with his fiancee, Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach.) Randal's not
pleased about this development and neither is his boss, Becky (Rosario
Dawson), for an entirely different reason.
wouldn't be a proper Clerks sequel, or a Kevin Smith movie for
that matter, without a lot of back-and-forth dialogue about subjects
like the live-action Transformers
movie, pornography, cracks on religion and racism, or arguments about
which trilogy is better:
Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. Fellow Mooby's
employee, the extremely naive Elias (Trevor Fehrman), provides many of
the film's best laughs as the target of Randal's jokes and sarcasm.
of the original film should enjoy the non-stop banter between perennial
straight-man Dante and the ever-wisecracking Randal. Jay (Jason Mewes)
Bob (Smith) return to hang outside, sell drugs, and keep things unpredictable.
(Jay's imitation of a scene from Silence of the Lambs warrants
the price of admission alone.) People who've never seen the original Clerks --
those of the Wedding Crashers' target audience, for example
-- will still "get" the movie. There's nothing deep here. But those
of us who have seen the original will be able to extract the most enjoyment
out of the film's vulgar humor and there's a lot of that to go around.
Clerks II is missing anything, it's the insight that the original
movie had into its characters that, along with all the vulgarity and
toilet humor, made that film a statement about what it was like
to be over-educated, underpaid, and unappreciated. Clerks II has
a few tender moments and attempts a ham-fisted verbalization about
and living life on your own terms but it all comes together in a cop-out,
deus ex machina ending that comes off more "Hollywood" than
it should for a former independent movie maker like Kevin Smith.
of the things that most prompted Kevin Smith to make the film was a promise
he made to friend Jason Mewes. If Mewes managed to stay off drugs he
would be able to play the character of "Jay" one more time.
Smith kept his promise. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)