Kevin Smith Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Trevor Fehrman, Kevin Weisman, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck Distributed by Paramount Pictures, MGM & The Weinstein Company Film was released July 21st, 2006 Review by Matt Holmes
rating: 4Clerks II is the sequel to the 1994 cult independent movie Clerks which made Kevin Smith famous and started the whole View Askew universe which has now spawned six movies in 12 years. This time Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) work behind the counter of Mooby's fast food restaurant instead of the "Pit Stop" which we hear has been burned down in a fire. We find out that Dante is on the verge of leaving New Jersey for a new life in Florida with his rather dominating new fiancee Emma (Jennifer SchwalbachSmith, the director's real life partner). Dante's pending move means the splitting of not only the life long friendship he has shared with Randal but also the complicated (and predictable) relationship he has with his manager Becky (star of the show performance from Rosario Dawson). On the outset they are exactly the same people they were 12 years ago, still barely managing to get through each day by discussing geeky pop culture and various sexual acts. But the world around them has changed. Star Wars is no longer "THE TRILOGY" that everybody is talking about meaning a heated debate (probably the funniest of the movie) occurs with a customer over the pro's and con's ofStar Wars and Lord of the Rings. Randal tell us...."Those fuckin' hobbit movies were boring as hell. All it was, was a bunch of people walking, three movies of people walking to a fucking volcano." Great stuff. I bet most of us have had that conversation at least once with somebody we know. And after a brief but fun cameo from Jason Lee (apparently on a day off from shooting My Name is Earl, and you can tell to) & Ben Affleck the realisation comes that they are old. They are in their 30's now and it's way too old to be wasting their lives flipping burgers. I won't spoil the rest of the movie for those of you who haven't seen it but it's by far the funniest Kevin Smith movie to date. Hell, the movie even has a great moral message to it at the end which I wasn't expecting but loved. Clerks II shows how much that Kevin Smith has grown, not just as a writer but as a director and storyteller to. The camera moves so confidently and the set pieces of the film shot so well (apart from one scene involving Randal and Dante outside of the restaurant where the camera wouldn't stop moving) Smith shows that he is not "just about the dialogue". But don't worry Smith fans, the dialogue is still there. The laughs a minute in Clerks II is probably off the charts and the build up and subsequent scene involving "Kinky Kelly" is both the most gross thing I've seen on screen this year but also by far the funniest. And the last sequence of the movie is so great. That along with Hugh Jackman going "pissed off Frank Miller Wolverine style" in X-Men 3 are my two favourite cinematic moments of 2006.