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Overall Rating
3.38

Awesome: 31.16%
Worth A Look32.61%
Average: 5.07%
Pretty Bad: 5.8%
Total Crap: 25.36%

7 reviews, 96 user ratings


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Clerks II
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by brianorndorf

"Ass to mouth: now at your local multiplex!"
4 stars

“Clerks II” gives writer/director Kevin Smith another opportunity to play with characters he loves dearly, in a world he knows well. Perhaps not as inspired as the 1994 original, the sequel still stands defiantly, providing a great amount of laughs along with some unexpected heart.

When a fire shutters their beloved Quick Stop convenience store, Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson, in a breakout performance) find themselves a year later working a “McJob” at fast food giant Mooby’s. The day before Dante is leaving New Jersey for a better life with a fiancée (Jennifer Schwalbach) and real responsibility in Florida, Randal is left to face his misspent youth and a future working dead-end jobs. Complicating matters is their boss Becky (Rosario Dawson), who has feelings for Dante, forcing the former slacker to reevaluate his life at the instant it’s about to change forever.

The $27,000 wonder, 1994’s “Clerks” put writer/director Kevin Smith on the map with his low-tech masterpiece of filthy dialog and shrewd observations of the minimum wage high life. The film ushered in a bright young talent who could balance searing romantic and vocational truths with extended monologues on Death Star contractors or oral sex. “Clerks” was rough around the edges, but it’s emerged as one of the finest films of the 1990s and an important rung on the ladder of independent cinema.

“Clerks II” has been presented by Smith as something of an apology for his last picture, the woefully misunderstood heart warmer, “Jersey Girl.” Smith need not bother making excuses for that well-intentioned and delightful film, but regardless, this sequel returns Smith and his acting troupe back to the fertile, deviant ground that made him famous.

While momentarily opening the film in black & white, it’s immediately obvious that Smith has come a terribly long way from the original production. “Clerks II” is infinitely more polished than its predecessor, reflecting both the growth of the filmmaker and the characters, who are thrust from their monotone comfort zone into a revealing, colorful world of separation, commitment, and other nasty changes found in life.

Removed is the simplicity of “Clerks,” with its one-take ramblings, barely passable dialog recording, and amateur actors. The sequel has been fully Hollywoodized, stuffed with cameos by famous faces (sadly, Smith has muted most of the “View Askewniverse” connections), a weighty soundtrack of hits for Smith to montage with to his heart’s content, and, gasp, camera cranes! The new technology, however, doesn’t dilute what Smith is looking to explore: the angry young man past the expiration date of his youth; but simply gives him more toys to play with. This is both good and bad.

Fans of “Clerks” will be delighted to see Randal and Dante return, and Smith has provided the right vintage of smut dialog to ease the 12 year absence. “Clerks II” wears its heart on its sleeve, and Smith make no apologies turning the sequel into a love letter to his beloved slackers. There are moments in the film where that chummy “Clerks” tennis match of delivery comes flowing back, and it’s a joy to see O’Halloran and Anderson pick up right where they left off. Smith has taken these characters to comic book, cartoon, and action figure incarnations, but in the flesh is where these boys belong, spouting off wisdom they don’t hold and deconstructing relationships they can’t keep, punctuated by Smith’s lawless dialog.

Eventually the sequel settles down into a serious discussion on the collateral damage of growing up, and Smith is faced with losing the origami-thin attention span of his fanbase. To counteract the drama, “Clerks II” has the tendency to go over the top with shock value, which doesn’t ring true with the rest of the picture. The whole film is rather indulgent and sloppy (I’m still unsure if a mid-movie musical number set to the Jackson 5’s “ABC” is a blessing or a curse), but Smith’s worst ideas come when he’s trying to please. Asides blasting the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy or Randal’s insistence that Dante would love a bestiality sex show for his goodbye party seem pedestrian compared to the pucker and wit found in the rest of the script.

As with the original “Clerks,” the comedy MVPs have to be Smith’s most endearing creations, the drug dealing loiterers Jay and Silent Bob. Here only in tiny increments, firecracker Jason Mewes and Smith himself plan carefully for their screentime, and they bring down the house with every appearance. A film highlight is Jay and his enthusiastic recreation of Buffalo Bill’s gender-blurring dance of lust from “The Silence of the Lambs.” If that doesn’t unlock tears of laughter, better check your funny bone connection.

“Clerks II” ends with compassion and optimism, but not necessarily happily. Smith cools down the film on an interesting “Graduate” tone that allows the viewer to ponder if the two friends have truly made the right decisions.

While it doesn’t have that spark of freshness that solidified the original film, “Clerks II” is still a treat, and should be appreciated as one of the few films to take the idea of leaving your extended adolescence behind with respect and dignity, even if it’s sandwiched between sequences of a man having sex with his donkey.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14852&reviewer=404
originally posted: 07/22/06 17:17:54
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell decent the 1st one was alot better 3 stars
8/16/17 Jon Fans would appreciate it most. Dawson was great and originals were satisfyingly in characte 4 stars
12/21/14 Dane R. Youssef Somehow, MORE than just more of the same. The message may bring some to real tears. 5 stars
4/01/13 Marty L Gritty. fun, cynical humor. Not for the feint of heart. Must see in my opiinion 5 stars
12/13/12 Ben Saddens me to say it sucks, LOVE THE ORIGINAL. This is like Star Wars the prequels (bad) 1 stars
6/10/10 joey a worthless piece of manure 2 stars
3/07/10 Marc Kelly Better than the original. Very funny. 5 stars
9/20/09 Electric John My neighbors banged on our adjoining wall because my loud laughing was keeping them up. 5 stars
8/20/09 Jeff Wilder Gets the job done. Not as funny as the original. But still worth your time. 4 stars
4/03/09 Dane Youssef A worth sequwl. Smith comes full-circle. Hilarious, of course. And about something vital. 5 stars
8/11/08 Jon G romantic comedy = barf 2 stars
10/24/07 Charles Tatum I'll say it...better than the first and funny as hell "ooh, cake!" 5 stars
9/14/07 Equinox maybe if i had down syndrome 1 stars
7/17/07 Andy It was damn funny get ya head out of ya asses, and lighten up 5 stars
6/01/07 Matt F. I'm a Kevin S. fan, but the reviewer is right on alot of counts. 2 stars
5/20/07 Quadraphonic Some good cheap laughs but not the same kind of substance you had in the original. 2 stars
5/02/07 fattyjoe37 Great follow up to the classic original 5 stars
4/30/07 John Sucks and if you think otherwise I would not ever want to meet you. 1 stars
4/15/07 arl It's Citizen Kane, but I didn't expect it to be. Funny though! 4 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold Like 40-Year-Old Virgin, it's yet another rather unfunny overrated bucket of puke. 1 stars
3/21/07 dude it was good 4 stars
2/26/07 Sharlatan david cornelius knows... 1 stars
2/20/07 Beau After i'd seen it i felt...dirty, like a part of my life had been stolen forever 1 stars
2/11/07 matti newcannon starts slowly, a2m was gross and unfunny, superb after that. this reviewer is a total dick 5 stars
1/24/07 bobski kevin smith is nothing compared to j r tolkien he hasnt a fukin clue!!starwars is shit btw 1 stars
1/22/07 joey Huge disappointment. Feels way too forced, not to mention sappy. Watch Dogma again instead. 2 stars
1/09/07 MickT Go rent Meatballs 4 instead, same calibur, much funnier! 1 stars
1/05/07 matt and King Diamond rules 4 stars
1/05/07 Indrid Cold As funny as the original, but nowhere near as fresh. 3 stars
1/02/07 Sam reviewer is a dumbfuck, he has no life so he thinks trashing films will make him seem big. 5 stars
1/01/07 matt Fehrman's performance felt forced, otherwise very funny and enjoyable 4 stars
12/30/06 alucard The clerks sequel that I've been waiting for. Absolutely hilarious! 5 stars
12/28/06 Deborah Ehh, it seems like instead of Smith getting better with aage he is just getting stale 1 stars
12/20/06 Buffy Worst Movie Ever! No stars for this crap. 1 stars
12/18/06 PK Total disaster, the worst acting I've seen all year. Age has not been kind to the cast. 1 stars
12/13/06 Bob If you're stoned or 10 years old, then u might enjoy this. Otherwise, you'll fall asleep 1 stars
12/12/06 Em This movie sucked ass. 1 stars
12/05/06 Shaggy Got me "Sex nuts and retard srong"! 5 stars
12/04/06 Emily absolutely hilarious movie...I laughed so hard I cried 5 stars
12/03/06 Brad wow, these comments vindicate postmodernism; i figured most everyone would find this funny 5 stars
12/01/06 Ryan_A Dancing Dawson good for a star all by herself. Perfectly acceptable film. 4 stars
12/01/06 toast only funny part i laughed at was when he was like " forgive me Jesus" while jerkn it lol 1 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Smith tries tenderness with a story of two men and their favorite pieces of ass. Amusing. 3 stars
10/07/06 EVEN THE TREES WALKED IN THOSE MOVIES!!? the ents in lotr rocked ,unlike george lucas shitty creations like R2D2,jarjaretc/koolfilm 4 stars
10/06/06 Fish possibly the greatest in smith's repetoir and amazingly funny 5 stars
10/03/06 Beau I am not going to downgrade myself to this standard of movie, this's for ppl with no brain 2 stars
10/03/06 The Master of The Internets A work of art. Fitting sequel to the original. HOWEVER I SUGGEST YOU WATCH IT WITH A FRIEND 4 stars
9/29/06 Joey CCCCRAAAP movie!! Watch Smith pimp his super/special/pumped up DVD. Kevin Smith is gay! 1 stars
9/29/06 yumyum complete garbage. 1 stars
9/05/06 The Maz This was lame. Kevin Smith, you suck. 2 stars
8/29/06 laura schofield AWESOME 5 stars
8/29/06 Kevin One word. Perfect. It was everything it needed to be 5 stars
8/24/06 Rapunzel Gladstone BARELY avg. J&SB were SO much better with Eliza Dushpu, Ali Farter, and Shannon Elizabeth! 3 stars
8/21/06 Sam well I thought i was fucking halrious 5 stars
8/12/06 nicolecrom2678 A must see 5 stars
8/10/06 Old Dirty Not as good as the original, but still great 5 stars
8/09/06 Matthew Brown I loved this movie - and unlike the review suggests I thought Clerks II was very funny 5 stars
8/07/06 Nixon This movie was quite hilarious, and I loved it. I've seen it multiple times, actually. 5 stars
8/07/06 Jim Vincent You obviously have no sense of humor and don't understand Smith's childish approach 5 stars
8/07/06 Sloth If you say it sucks then you suck 5 stars
8/06/06 Erik Van Sant Kevin Smith is a bad filmmaker. This is a sterling example. Fun to see the old gang, though 3 stars
8/02/06 jane it was sooooooo funny 5 stars
8/02/06 RugbyBuffy Laughed SO much! Like another Harold and Kumar...except more intelligent. 4 stars
8/01/06 Zoe offensive and not in a good or funny way. in a lame unnecessary way. 1 stars
8/01/06 Yolanda ass to mouth. this is the film equivalent. don't do it! so don't see it... 1 stars
8/01/06 Schooner Awesome! I loved almost every moment of it...a top-three Kevin Smith film 5 stars
8/01/06 raging cajun worse than Jersey Girl. 1 stars
8/01/06 kill me now so bad this movie makes you want to kill yourself 1 stars
8/01/06 Mike V Kevin Smith's shtick is painfully boring. 1 stars
8/01/06 CurtisEarl Exactly what I expect from Kevin Smith - Not gonna win an oscar but, I laughed my ass off. 5 stars
8/01/06 Strangef8 Kevin hits it on the head. I loved it! 5 stars
7/31/06 bob meh, not for me 1 stars
7/31/06 pimp smack this bitch, ho! dis movie SUCKS 1 stars
7/31/06 jeffrey stonard I want my money back 1 stars
7/31/06 eric campos I agree with Chris. 1 stars
7/31/06 kevin bad 1 stars
7/31/06 joefranks simply horrid 1 stars
7/30/06 adam james carolla This is the worst movie i have ever seen. if your a retard you will enjoy the film. 1 stars
7/30/06 Mase Easily the funniest movie i've seen all summer, Kevin Smith is clearly back in his element 5 stars
7/29/06 kaerf Jay's antics never get old. Religious commentary was nice even if morality wins in the end. 4 stars
7/29/06 JockoManjelly Probably his best. The tone of it was perfect. Good balance of silly & serious. 5 stars
7/27/06 Swedgin Agree with review, extremely unfunny and forced 2 stars
7/27/06 davebutt69 It was kevin smith's best movie to date. Jay and silent bob steal the show. Laughed out lou 5 stars
7/27/06 Big Dick DaMooch great fucking movie seen it 3 times 4 stars
7/26/06 Agent Sands Not that I see why everyone's treating it like it's Smith's masterpiece, but it was funny. 4 stars
7/25/06 mwr Only a complete moron could laugh at this borefest 1 stars
7/25/06 Tom Forsdike Excellent laughs, very entertaining. 5 stars
7/24/06 Bebop second only to dogma. 5 stars
7/24/06 ajay funny stuff, I busted up laughing several times throughout... 4 stars
7/24/06 KingNeutron Dogma was better, J&SB Strike Back was better. 3 stars
7/24/06 gromm Awesome comedy! On par with Dogma! 5 stars
7/23/06 malcolm just more of same; a2m description unnecessary OMB 3 stars
7/23/06 Ole Man Bourbon Sigh. Ass to mouth means you fuck an ass with a cock and the girls sucks it. Not asslicki 4 stars
7/23/06 wiltone little man 5 stars
7/22/06 8=======D IT OWNED! 5 stars
7/22/06 A F Hilarious!4.5.... The Lord of The Rings part...."Beautifully fuckin illustrated"-Sickboy TS 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Jul-2006 (R)
  DVD: 28-Nov-2006

UK
  22-Sep-2006

Australia
  31-Aug-2006


Directed by
  Kevin Smith

Written by
  Kevin Smith

Cast
  Brian O'Halloran
  Jeff Anderson
  Rosario Dawson
  Trevor Fehrman
  Jason Mewes
  Kevin Smith



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