21 July 2006 | yo-saff-brig
A Poignant Tribute For Fans, Unfortunately, No Giant Spiders
Clerks II:**** Clerks II is a strong and poignant retelling of the story of when two slackers grow into adulthood. In many ways this is writer/director Kevin Smith's most adult film in that we see four characters that we've grown up with over the past 12 years finally grow themselves. It opens on the final day of work for Dante who is finally getting up and out of Jersey with his fiancé, leaving Randal figuratively alone at Mooby's. Randal hasn't changed much over the past years, and in many cases neither has Dante. Randal still wrestles with the customers in pitiful pop culture debates, among them whether the LOTR trilogy is better than the Star Wars trilogy, but this time around he has a new foil in a 19 year old gamer-geek named Elias. The banter between these two is really funny especially when Randal tells him what he has planned for Dante's departure gift (but you'll have to see the flick to find out what that is because it is too gross for me even to write). After a short stint in re-hab Jay and Silent Bob have found solace in the Lord but this doesn't stop them from the dispensing with the drugs. Its odd to find that in the past decade it is Jay and Silent Bob that have changed the most, true they still are up to their perverse antics such as ass rubbing on the window and the disturbing recreation of "The Silence of the Lambs" dance but they have grown more sensitive to other people's emotions and needs, especially Jay. I haven't mentioned Rosario Dawson, who gives a very charming performance as the clerks' boss. She brings a lot of presence to a slightly underdeveloped character. But it is Jeff Anderson, Randal, that deserves the full attention this time around. He gives an award worthy performance and delivers it with an astonishing amount of sympathy. He's loosing his best friend which, though he'd never show it, absolutely devastates him. The last 20 minutes are really tear jerking, I know I was in tears and couldn't stop the flow. This film sort of keeps to the feel Smith created with Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl in that they lay the drama on thick and it almost works better than the comedy, an oddity for Smith proving he too has grown as a writer. It isn't all drama though you do get great comedic scenes such as, my favorite, the "porch monkey" scene. I nearly had laughing tears during it. This is probably Smith's best looking film elevating it to the quality one would get whilst watching a really good episode of television. The camera even moves! And a neat little digital effect is shown at the beginning where the clerks' world seamlessly transforms from black and white to color, I was shocked because I didn't even realize it was happening. This is one of Smith's best films and one of the year's best. I give it a high recommendation but I ask that you stick with it a little while because it moves at a slower pace then any of the other Jersey Chronicles, it may take a bit of getting used to for some, but this is a film that can not be missed.