Clerks II

Is anyone really a big Kevin Smith fan? I know there's alot of people who really like his movies. And yadda he's made a couple "good" movies. But great ones? I dunno. And I don't know one person who was foaming at the crotch (uch. sorry.) for a 'long overdue' sequel to Clerks. But I like Kevin Smith in theory. My history with him is like this: I dug Clerks back in the day. Good stuff. Never saw Mallrats and all I've ever heard is its blindingly awful. I vaguely remember Chasing Amy being sort of fun but I only saw it once. Dogma was cool the first time around but it gets more messier and more stupider on repeat viewings. The second half of Jay and Silent Bob was funny but if the DVD was lying in the street I'm not sure I'd pick it up and bring it home. And after the stench of Jersey Girl, I assumed doing Clerks II was just Kevin running home with his baggy jean shorts around his ankles to soak in a bath of tomato juice.

But last night I found myself sitting in a half-filled theater with a big thing of twizz and a water-- wading through some previews waiting for Clerks Part Duh to start up. There's one preview they keep threatening me with but it never seems to actually get released. Has something to do with scary zombie ghosts that arrive via Outlook Express or get spit out through epson printers or something. It actually looks kind of scary but the email dings just aren't that threatening. It smells like it was some other horror movie plot until some big muggidy studio dope read an article about how "email is really popular" and dashed off a memo...

Anyway, Clerks II starts up and I only felt slight tingles of nostalgia when they show the old quickee mart or whatever. And I felt a little sad seeing how Dante is older looking, and (preferably) Silent Bob all rounded out and Heroin Jay sporting some new fancy new choppers. But other than that nothing really seemed different. The Dante guy hasn't moved an inch beyond his junior high school drama club acting chops. And Kevin Smith's off beat dialogue 'scripty' rhythm is still clunky and all that. But in a way it was sort of nice that it wasn't all gussied up Hollywood style. The problem for me was during the first 15 minutes.. this movie just flat-out sucked. I noticed I hadn't laughed once and felt no intentions on laughing anytime soon. The 'outrageous' conversations sort of got me eyerolly and the characters just weren't clicking in at all. So I settled in for a torturous trip of unfunny jokes and bad self-conscious acting as I plowed through twizz after twizz.

But then around the 20 minute mark it started turning around. Jay started saying and doing dumb crap and I liked it. He's a natural. I discovered I wasn't bored at all. Rosario Dawson showed up and I gripped the arms of the chair tight in case I had an uncontrollable need to rip my ears off and my eyes out-- but I didn't. She was actually good. Benafleck poked his head in the door and it was the first time I was happy to see him in years. Some funny conversations started happening and working and clicking. I laughed out loud. Jay tucked his wang between his legs and did a Buffalo Bill dance. I nodded in approval while snorting. Finally I dismissed being a judgemental a-hole to this movie and just took it at face value for what it really is-- by far Kevin Smith's best movie since Clerks.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Rosario Dawson dances around and makes her boobs bounce around totally!!!!! Good times!!!!!
- Jay (when he's outside) is always fun to watch. I could probably just stare and watch him say stupid shit for half-hour 40 minutes.
- I thought the donkey scene was friggin hysterical.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- Kevin Smith over did it with his clowny silent expressions.
- Nothing was actually believable.
- When you're not onboard with some dialogue it throws you overboard.

All in all I gotta admit I was surprised by how much this movie won me over. It still ain't nothing "great". But it's the funniest movie I've seen this year (besides Hostel). It did come across as a sincere reunion and not the cheapshot reset button I assumed it was. It's legit funny a bunch and blue moony smart. Sure, I didn't get sold on the whole 'growing up/priorities/i love you, man' shtick-- but I didn't feel ripped off by it either. I mean if a movie costs $10 that's the same price as a six pack of beer and some beef jerky, right?... and this movie is definitely worth more than that.