Saturday, July 22, 2006
Clerks II: the Kanrei Review
Brian O'Halloran: Dante Hicks
Jeff Anderson: Randal Graves
Rosario Dawson: Becky Scott
Jason Mewes & Kevin Smith: Jay & Silent Bob
Trevor Fehrman: Elias Grover
I went to see Clerks: II tonight. I was fairly nervous going into it. After Jersey Girl and the farewell of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, I was not sure what to expect. Hearing about Joel Siegel walking out after forty minutes did raise my hopes quite drastically. I felt like I was visiting old friends from college that I had not spoken to since then. I had the same questions in my mind (that is so pathetic actually). Have they changed? Do they still have “it” twelve years later? Do I want to see “it” now that I am twelve years older? I am very happy to say “Yes” to all of the above.
Do not worry; there will be no “spoilers” in this review. Most of the joy from a movie like this is not knowing from where the next joke will come. I will say that those who love Kevin Smith’s ability to write dialogue and set up a good fart or d*ck joke will not be disappointed with this, but there is much more to it than d*ck and fart jokes. I actually cannot think of any real fart a jokes… was that a spoiler? I‘ll be more careful.
The plot is simple and the ending is predictable, but who cares in a movie like this. It is the journey, not the destination. Basically, Dante is moving to Florida with fiancée and the movie follows his last day at Mooby’s, a fast food restaurant he and Randal now find themselves working at. That is about it for the plot…really.
Kevin Smith has definitely matured as a film maker since the first Clerks. The first thing I noticed was that the camera actually moves in this film. He has left the steady-cam shots of his previous films and realized a camera can move to create mood and he uses it well. His jokes and characters are now so well written that Jay and Silent Bob are no longer required to liven up a scene, although they do still do that quite nicely. Now, their characters are like the intermission between scenes, giving the cast time to change locations: the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the “Jersey Trilogy” now in its sixth movie. Kind of like another famous trilogy, right?
Speaking of a famous trilogy, there has emerged a new trilogy since Kevin Smith last gave us Randal, and he unleashes the ultimate "Star Wars" loyalist upon the new trilogy in what is, to me, a new and instant classic scene in the View Askew Universe. This one scene alone is worth the ticket price. Well, that and the stripper with the donkey, but I am NOT getting into that!
For those of us who have seen all of the “Jersey” films and have loved the story, the characters, and the just weird state of that world, then this film is the absolute perfect closer. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was supposed to be the last film in the saga, but it did not seem like it finished the saga. Now, with this movie, the double trilogy seems like a full circle.
George Lucas once said that Star Wars was nine chapters. James Bond has had, what, twenty-one movies? While this is a great place to stop if Kevin Smith decides he wants to move on and explore other types of movies, I really hope he does not move on too far. Instead, I hope to think of this as a re-introduction.
It achieves everything it set out to do and does it great.
Oh yea, and this movie is not just rated R, but a very strong R. Kevin Smith was shocked it didn't get an NC-17 and so was I. It was not for kids and there was no nudit...well, there was no drug us....well, there was no sexual....well. This movie skirted the line everywhere it could and placed the F word in every place it could and found some new places. There, I got my warning done. If you are still reading, thanks!