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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Clerks II

IN Theatres Jul 21

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Ten years ago best friends Dante Hicks (BRIAN O’HALLORAN) and Randal Graves (JEFF ANDERSON) were New Jersey mini-mall clerks still slacking off together in their early 20s. Now, Kevin Smith checks back in to see what kind of changes have rocked their lives -- in work, romance and their eternally raucous life philosophy.

What he discovers is that never before have so many still done so little while having so much fun doing it. Now working in the fast-food universe,Dante and Randal have managed to maintain, and even hone, their in-your-face attitudes, agile skill with vulgarities and unbridled love of screwing with the customers. But they’re also faced with such shocking new prospects as marriage, leaving Jersey and finding real careers.

Starring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman, Jennifer Schwalbach and Jason Mewes

Director: Kevin Smith

REVIEW: I wrote last month about how disappointed I was in Kevin Smith's career over the last 7 years. Reports of a Clerks II standing ovation at Cannes gave me some reason to be optimistic, but it has all been shattered, shattered, shattered.

Evan Wade at Something Awful has a full review of a Clerks II advance screening, and it's not good. It's so not good, it might be described as bad. Even if you set aside his opinion, he cites enough specifics that there can be no question that Clerks II will fail in exactly the same ways as Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Some quotes (with one tiny spoiler about the beginning of the film):

"The constant in-jokes and self-referential humor make the movie feel more like a basement full of high schoolers than an actual film."
"Randall asks aloud if it’s the work of terrorists, then a CGI thought bubble appears over his head. The camera zooms in on the bubble until it takes up the whole frame, and we see a bunch of guys in the desert using ropes to pull down a statue of Randall’s boss. The camera quickly zooms back out (complete with a “scratching record” noise, followed by something that sounds like a car wreck), and Randall looks at the screen and says “at least no more idiot customers are going to come in looking for a copy of ‘Jersey Girl’,” then winks at the camera."
"Then he says something about feeling like he’s in “a bad Kevin Smith movie”... he laughs, then says “just kidding, there’s no such thing” and everyone turns to the camera with a blank expression on their face. It’s supposed to be self-deprecation but it comes off as a masturbatory, stupid little in-joke between Smith and his friends..."

And on and on. And on. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think my previous assessment was depressingly accurate.

*Review by Kurt Hunt, Clever WoT


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