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Overall Rating

Awesome: 34.15%
Worth A Look39.02%
Average: 7.93%
Pretty Bad: 8.54%
Total Crap: 10.37%

8 reviews, 116 user ratings

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by Rob Gonsalves

"Scattershot, but better than everyone said at the time."
4 stars

Brodie (Jason Lee) and T.S. (Jeremy London), the befuddled and talkative guys in 'Mallrats,' hang out and debate whether Lois Lane could survive impregnation by Superman. (They conclude that only Wonder Woman would have a uterus sturdy enough to carry a Superbaby to term.) They don't limit themselves to this topic, but all their conversation belongs to the same genre of meaningless but very funny talk.

In short, Brodie and T.S. are almost clones of Dante and Randal, the heroes of writer-director Kevin Smith's previous film, Clerks. Is this all Kevin Smith can do -- two unambitious guys sending up verbal balloons? I prefer to think that Smith, who has a sharp ear for dialogue, has other shots in his cannon, and that Mallrats is to Clerks what Robert Rodriguez's Desperado was to his El Mariachi: a name-star, bigger-budget version of the fledgling auteur's no-frills calling card. Yet the charm of Clerks and El Mariachi was their smallness and low-budgetness. Painting them on a larger canvas doesn't do much for them.

That said, I enjoyed much of Mallrats. Smith has assembled a decent cast, though the best I can say for Shannen Doherty, as Brodie's bored girlfriend, is that she proves she's a good sport. And Michael Rooker, who just a few years ago seemed to be getting dignified roles, appears as the ranting chrome-dome dad of T.S.'s girlfriend (the appealing Claire Forlani) and is required to put his foot through a floor, lick chocolate off his fingers in merciless close-up, and spend half his screen time puking; he must really be a good sport. Joey Lauren Adams has a pleasant, unself-conscious, bubbly sexiness. And comics fans will get a kick out of Stan Lee's cameo as himself, dispensing "Face front, true believer" wisdom.

Almost everyone has lively things to say, the topics usually centering on the Kevin Smith triumvirate of sex, comics, and movies. The show-stealers, as in Clerks, are the slacker-Mutt-and-Jeff team Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith himself). Mewes seems to tune in to an oddball galaxy far, far away (he'd have been perfect in Dazed and Confused); at times, he's like a foul-mouthed version of the wacko Disney characters capering around the margins of The Lion King or Pocahontas. Smith doesn't act much -- his character isn't called Silent Bob for nothing -- but he knows how to use his big, beefy body, and his sober deadpan links him with Buster Keaton. What doesn't link Smith the director with Keaton is his rather uninspired handling of slapstick. Silent Bob goes crashing through ladies' changing rooms or beats up the Easter bunny, and you appreciate the idea of it, but you're acutely aware that you're not laughing. Smith is best with verbal slapstick, not visual.

Smith's movies are something like the easygoing, pleasantly unambitious slackers he puts on the screen. Maybe I shouldn't criticize Smith for returning to the same ground in the $7 million Mallrats that he covered in the $27,000 Clerks; after all, Quentin Tarantino's sophomore effort was Pulp Fiction, not much of a genre jump from Reservoir Dogs. Yet I watched Mallrats feeling that Smith had already handed in a brilliant first draft with Clerks, and that Mallrats, though printed on better paper and free of typos, is an unnecessary second draft. Kevin Smith is a viciously witty and refreshingly rude writer, and not a bad rough-edged comedy director. But how much further can he go with these scrappy talking-heads movies? (Mallrats provides a blunt answer: no further than the mall.)

The true test of comedy directors, be they Billy Wilder or John Waters, is how deftly they can adapt their gifts to a variety of stories. Smith needs to move on now -- he needs to shit or get off the pot.

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originally posted: 01/11/07 12:02:01
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User Comments

8/07/14 David Hollingsworth juvenile, tasteless but generationally funny 4 stars
7/27/09 jroc most underrated movie ever. pure comic gold 5 stars
4/12/09 Evie I thought it had a few laughs. 3 stars
4/11/09 Dane Youssef A fun flick to watch with your bud over a round of beers. 'Specially if they're comic fans. 4 stars
12/13/08 Simon I'm suprised 'Average' is the lowest percentage. Couldn't think of a more appropriate word 3 stars
8/12/06 nicolecrom2678 Jason Lee is hilarious in this movie 5 stars
10/14/05 Hannity from Houston Affleck's in it? (I wish he wasn't) 1 stars
9/04/05 matt threw my back out humping your mom last night... nooch. 5 stars
6/28/05 Burt Ward kame unfunny badly acted shit. Overrated by morons. 1 stars
5/25/05 Jake A little tamed compared to Clerks but still worth a look 4 stars
11/20/04 Trailer trash in malls don't speak like uni' professer's in real life Trailer trash don't speak like uni' professer's. This movie is a toss. 1 stars
8/06/04 Anthony G stfu 5 stars
6/21/04 Rock Hound Kids, these days! In my day, youngsters behaved like angels, or we got beat to a pulp! 1 stars
4/13/04 shaun movies you should rent clerks,chasing amy,dogma,vulgar,J&bob strike back if u like mallrats 5 stars
4/04/04 Daveman Worth a look??? Trust these student film critics to be a bunch of Smith completists. 1 stars
3/24/04 Ken Stryker That kids on the fuckin esculator agian 5 stars
2/06/04 jimmy pee its friggin hilarious 4 stars
9/08/03 TheDude Jack Sommersby needs to be shot and hung by his balls. 5 stars
8/11/03 The Savage TS is a jackass but the rest of the movie is awesome but it has TS so it knocks it down 4 stars
7/14/03 Samuel Justus Great Movie!!!!Hey would anyone like a chocolate covered pretzel??? 5 stars
6/25/03 shannon this is the best movie EVER brodie is soooo FUNNY and jay and silent bob r the SHIT! 5 stars
5/13/03 joker-smoker-toker this movie is awesome. brodie & jay & silent bob were the best part of this movie 5 stars
4/01/03 Dr. Bitterpants This happens if John Hughes only cared about the Judd Nelson and A.M.Hall characters 2 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty forced. Worth seeing only for the sexy Barnes and her three-nippled breast. 2 stars
3/27/03 y2mckay As usual, Jay and Silent Bob are the best part. The rest is hit and miss. 3 stars
3/11/03 Apathy It's a teen movie. No depth or intelligence. Like the topless 3 nippled fotrune teller 3 stars
11/11/02 Joe This Movie Is Really Underratted It is GREAT! 5 stars
11/09/02 Stevo Because of the director, people try to find the best in this. Really it's unfunny shit. 1 stars
10/27/02 MarktheShark6 Get rid of London and I'd call it the BEST MOVIE EVER, otherwise it's just the second ever. 5 stars
10/09/02 Neil This movie is fucking hilarious. It's not as great as Clerks was but it was still awesome. 5 stars
9/04/02 Joe Zappa Jay and Silent Bob are even funnier, and the acting is better than "Clerks." 4 stars
7/30/02 Mac perfect, smith captures stupid teen movies and makes his funny 5 stars
7/23/02 Roy Smith The heroes are basically selfish assholes. 2 stars
7/23/02 erick really funny, but its no clerks 4 stars
5/31/02 Phoenix Kevin Smith's dumbest movie, but still funny. 4 stars
5/27/02 Nicole No real plot, but loads of sick humor 4 stars
3/14/02 fjkdljskfds i used to find this hilarious, but now just see it as pretentious and clerks 2 stars
3/06/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress A bit of charm that sparked a little interest, but pretty forgettable in the end. 3 stars
2/07/02 Frances Did anyone of u people who rated the movie badly actually watch it???????? 5 stars
2/03/02 Cameron Ovo Best movie in the world iv seen it about 100 times and it's still funny 5 stars
1/01/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Better than Clerks, Jay & Silent Bob are more funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/19/01 paul ben affleck in his prime... booya! 4 stars
11/09/01 Mark A truly quality movie. The plot appears rather dull, but really picks up. A must-see. 5 stars
10/31/01 Suzie I Love Jason Lee in this, he kicks so much fucking ass, I flat out love this whole movie 5 stars
10/15/01 Mr. Hat The story is shit but Jay and Silent Bob are the two hands-down best quality of the flick. 3 stars
10/08/01 Hogwash If only O'Halloran had played TS instead of London... 4 stars
10/05/01 Evil Bitchwoman fucking hilarious. 5 stars
8/28/01 ARCbird Brodieman noochie noochies.... 5 stars
8/12/01 Gary Jason Lee is fantastic in this. Don't take it seriously, just kick back and enjoy. 4 stars
8/01/01 Keyser Soze sucks the big one: watch clerks instead 2 stars
7/06/01 mjm103171 it was NOT up to par for Mr. Smith 2 stars
6/14/01 Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatam & Howe FLY FATASS FLY! 5 stars
6/07/01 King Jackass Would you like a chocalate covered pretzel? 5 stars
5/29/01 m. todl smiths best work 4 stars
5/20/01 kingjackass222 people underate this movie 2 much 4 stars
5/09/01 Stephen Woods Damn, man Jeremy sucks ass. 5 stars
3/05/01 Brad Groux This movie is fukking hilarious! Jason Lee is the man! 5 stars
10/23/00 P. Rodriguez 4 Fu@3s sake take for what it's worth. Funny toilet humor. London is shit though 4 stars
7/26/00 The Bomb 69 funny and often misunderstood movie, way underrated 5 stars
7/17/00 Bender Cheesy jokes and uninteresting conversations sink this one. 2 stars
6/24/00 Aaron White Kevin Smith doesn't know what do do with directors. All he can do is write slacker patter. 1 stars
6/15/00 Zippo XxX Funny and fun, but seemed to kind of sell out, AND WAS SHOT AT MY TOWN MALL!!! 5 stars
5/12/00 Girl9 This film IS "cult" status.Funny dialogue,funny characters. Either love it or hate it. 4 stars
4/15/00 Elvisfan of course this movie is great; Kevin is from New Jersey, the best state in the USA 5 stars
4/13/00 Rita It sucks that this movie got so much was great! 5 stars
3/29/00 malcolm kevin smith's funniest. ... threw my back out humping your mom last night. nootch! 4 stars
3/15/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs Kevin Smith is great 5 stars
1/21/00 James "Brew" McCauley This movie DOES get better ever time you watch it. 5 stars
12/01/99 Dr. Acula Funny Flick except Jay & Silent Bob Become Bill & Ted and lose their edge. 4 stars
10/23/99 Patrick Belongia One of the funniest teen movies made! 5 stars
10/12/99 Jared He wanted to screw me some place very uncomfortable, what like the back of a volkswaggon 5 stars
9/03/99 Myra Worth a look for Shannen. 3 stars
8/18/99 Matthew Bartley Snootchie-bootchie!! Damn funny 4 stars
7/26/99 The Bomb 69 "call me Donny, please don't go girl" This is one wacky gameshow 5 stars
7/07/99 Dax Watch it several times to catch all of the jokes in the background (store names, etc.) 4 stars
6/15/99 Sally Give that Kevin Smith a KISS (like Ben Affleck!) 4 stars
6/06/99 kmk I laughed my ass off. 4 stars
5/24/99 PurityJustBegs While not Smith's best, it serves its purpose quite well, a damn funny farce. 4 stars
4/12/99 Randall can't get enough, being a former mallrat, i loved it 5 stars
4/08/99 Dave It was really bad. No plot, no point , no service 1 stars
4/06/99 Michael Grimm The only movie better is Clerks. Fucking hilarious 5 stars
4/04/99 Albert The ONLY good Kevin Smith movie so far. 5 stars
3/29/99 john mall crap - shannon was fineeee 1 stars
3/29/99 Ebert's twin This was a big pile of movie shit 1 stars
3/28/99 TJwills Makes me miss the mall. Affleck begins to stretch his acting wings. 5 stars
3/27/99 Rob Mckechnie Not as good as Clerks, but Lee's "he likes like a fucking date rapist!" makes up for it 5 stars
3/18/99 Max Bernstein One of the best films of the 90's. Anyone who disagrees is a fucking savage. 5 stars
3/06/99 BB An excellent way to spend an evening...or two. 5 stars
3/03/99 Rachel Three words: Snootchie Bootchie Noochies! 5 stars
3/01/99 Ken Jason Lee, Kevin smith, and Jason Mewes ARE THE MOVIE! Snootchy Bootchies!!! 5 stars
2/19/99 Nibby7 "Bickety Bam, the motherfucker's rubble" & "Fly fat ass, fly" What more could you want? 5 stars
1/25/99 YellerDog Love this movie. Operation: Dark Knight! 5 stars
1/24/99 Melissa See it for Brodie, Jay and Bob. 4 stars
1/11/99 Shane Brandon Good movie but unfortunately because of the head honchos Kevin couldnt do exactly what he w 4 stars
1/02/99 randy F it was not horrible it was was good it was great 4 stars
12/31/98 JDC really, really funny, much funnier than Clerks. Great film, big laughs 5 stars
12/22/98 Blotman Funny fucking film... but not much else besides the humor. 4 stars
12/19/98 Mike F WOW! I saw this too much. it rocks! 5 stars
11/26/98 Jack Aster all it took was a fat chronic blunt 5 stars
11/18/98 MinxxDaShorty Silent Jay and Bob are the juices that kept this movie flowing!!! The rest was average. 4 stars
10/24/98 Timmy C Excellent if you don't compare it to Clerks. 4 stars
10/17/98 Finley Not his best, but deinitely a very funny movie 5 stars
10/15/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! pure KEVIN SMITH............could have been better though,hilarious no doubt ! 4 stars
10/03/98 wind it's cool how the sopomore release was as good as the first 4 stars
9/20/98 Ky This shits on clerks bigtime!! Totally Sweet!!! Gotta love it!!! 5 stars
9/18/98 Mike Not good by any means, but not bad either. Jason Lee is great 4 stars
9/17/98 Ben Affleck Unbelievably cool movie.. Jason Lee kicks.. Kevin Smith is a genious.. Hilarious!! 5 stars
9/16/98 Chuck-D It was awesome. Like a Kevins Smith film could be any less? 5 stars
9/08/98 Young Einstein I can't slam this. It was awful, but I saw it twice. 4 stars
9/08/98 MikeF I saw this 21 times. I love it. 5 stars
9/06/98 Helle Marie It`s fuckin` brilliant! Screw the critics- this is great, and everybody should see it! 5 stars
9/04/98 Scott Taylor Almost worked. Didn't. 2 stars
8/25/98 clark just like Empire, the second in the trilogy is best. 5 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Good enough, if not overtly good 4 stars
8/23/98 Superfly Not Kevin's best, but all of Kevin's stuff is fucking awesome. 5 stars
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  25-Oct-1995 (R)
  DVD: 20-Sep-2005



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