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Clerks II Movie Poster

Clerks II

Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Directed by
: Kevin Smith
Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Schwalbach, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck
Released by: MGM

In Short: The two slacker guys from the original “Clerks” movie return twelve years later, but nothing much has changed in this crass, unfunny sequel for Kevin Smith groupies only.

Back to the Old Grind
Different Store, Same Old Shtick
By Jenny Peters

It's been twelve years since Kevin Smith launched his acting-writing-directing career with “Clerks,” a black-and-white look at two slacker pals who worked in a New Jersey Quik Stop convenience/video store. Now he and his original stars (Brian O'Halloran as Dante and Jeff Anderson as Randall) have returned to that tale, with an update in color that finds the two slackers in a brand-new setting, but with all the same issues they had before.

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in Clerks II
Brian O'Halloran and Rosario Dawson in Clerks II

Now going nowhere fast as burger slingers at the fictional Mooby's fast-food joint, the two friends are still foul-mouthed ne'er-do-wells, but even more pathetic losers since now they are in their thirties, not young twenties. Add in two good-looking females (Rosario Dawson and Jennifer Schwalbach, who apparently got the part not because of her acting talents, which are nonexistent, but because she is Smith's real-life wife), with a plot centering around Dante's dilemma in choosing between them (sure, all women want slackers as lovers, don't they?), and that's the movie.

Except for all the filthy jokes, that is. Smith's stock in trade over all these years has been a combination of crass sexual commentary, doper humor, racist jokes, and fanboy diatribes, and that's exactly what “Clerks II” is chockablock with, right down to a particularly nauseating (and not funny in any way) scene involving a sex show with a donkey and a fat man. It's a style of humor that appeals to the lowest common denominator out there, using shock value and bodily function jokes to create laughs rather than coming up with something that is actually clever and funny.

Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson in Clerks II
Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith in Clerks II

But if Kevin Smith's other films - “Mallrats,” “Dogma,” “Chasing Amy,” to name a few - struck you as funny in the past, perhaps “Clerks II” won't make sitting through it feel like you just had two valuable hours of your life stolen, the way it did for us. So if the idea of a “Clerks” sequel has been on your mind while you’ve been standing over a hot grill slinging burgers yourself, this one's for you. Otherwise, consider renting an old Marx Brothers movie (try “A Night at The Opera” or “Duck Soup”) instead and experience what great comedy is really all about.

(Updated 08/30/07 NJ)

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