Clerks II

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman
Director: Kevin Smith

Once upon a time a shop clerk had a great idea for a script, all about a day in the life of a shop clerk. The movie from that script gained cult status and thus launched the writing and directing career of Kevin Smith. His New Jersey set of stories continued, all featuring two minor characters from the first movie CLERKS, Jay and Silent Bob, who eventually got their own movie, JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. Their movie was supposed to be the last batch of the New Jersey “View Askew” stories featuring these characters. The next effort from Kevin Smith saw him produce JERSEY GIRL, a script that was close to his heart. Unfortunately, the movie was not well received by some fans and critics. For his next project, Smith decided to see how life has treated the two shop clerks from the first movie, Dante and Randal.

Life for the two thirty-something shop clerk slackers Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) just seem to pass them by. Stuck in the Quick Stop clerk job for the past ten years, fate seems to deal them a cruel hand when one day the shop burns down. One year later, even though they are both working at the fast food chain Mooby’s, Dante is making plans to move on with his life. Madly in love and engaged to Emma Bunting (Jennifer Schwalbach), Dante is moving down to Florida with Emma and getting married there.

Set is a day in the lives of the two clerks, Emma pops around to see Dante wearing a t-shirt that says Mrs Hicks and wanting to spend a little time with her man. Dante finds out from Emma that not only when they get married will Emma’s rich parents give them a house in Florida, but Dante will also work for Becky’s father. Dante cannot believe that his life has finally come together but Emma also lets Dante know that the wedding has been set three months from now. Dante starts to feel that maybe life is moving a little bit too fast for his own liking.

It will not just be Randal who will miss Dante when he leaves, Dante’s boss Becky (Rosario Dawson) will also miss him. Over the past year the two of them have become more than just boss and employee, they both have an appreciation for all things New Jersey. Meanwhile Randal is as usual getting himself into all sorts of trouble with his co-worker Elias (Trevor Fehrman) and the customers, to which Dante always comes to his rescue. On the verge of accepting that Dante is leaving him forever and that their long-term friendship will change, Randal arranges an unusual send off for Dante that could only possibly have one outcome. Meanwhile Becky’s feelings for Dante slowly surface and she questions whether Emma is the right woman for him. Knowing that it is going to take more than just saying to Dante that she loves him to change his mind, Becky has to offer Dante one thing that his fiancee hasn’t got.

Kevin Smith has approached the last chapter of his Jersey set of stories with amazing maturity. All the characters have moved on in their own way. That even includes Randal whose profanity and crassness on taboo subjects seems to reach a new low. Yes, this movie is edgy with the choice words used throughout and it will offend some of the audience while others will laugh at it. If you are planning to take someone on a first date to this movie, be warned that it does contain obscene language, drug and sexual references throughout. The movie really hits its stride when a major plot revelation kicks in and the humour and drama is turned up a few notches.

The original stars have also matured as actors and they attack the script as professionals. The usual band of Hollywood Smith followers also appear throughout the movie but it is the Jason Lee cameo that people will remember most, a scene that Lee shot on his off day from filming MY NAME IS EARL. We must not forget Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) who bring some much needed light relief to the proceedings. With references to THE GODFATHER, TRANSFORMERS, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and arguments about STAR WARS verses THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy that will even divide the audience, this is a fitting end to the Jersey View Askew universe. Even though Kevin Smith will go on to other projects, we can only hope that ten years from now, we will have a glimpse of what these memorable characters are up to in their forties. CLERKS 3 anyone?

5 out of 6 stars