Clerks II

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for language, nudity and sexual content)

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Produced by: Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier
Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Trevor Fehrman, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Jennifer Schwalbach
Studio: The Weinstein Company

For many years, sequels have been released in the summer months in order to get money from people who loved the first incarnation of the story. Most of them are made for making money instead of bringing back quality writing and a wonderful story. Kevin Smith has not been a director to make films for the money. He makes films because he loves films and he loves making them. Now he has gone back to the well and directed a sequel to his first feature and the one that put him and his View Askewniverse characters on the map. Clerks is a classic of the comedy genre and probably the greatest independent film ever made. The whole idea of a sequel will probably make people believe Smith has sold out (although he says that he did that when he sold Clerks to Miramax), but instead he has created a very funny work that while isn't as good as the first, it's still worth a trip to your local cinema.

Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) have been working at the Quick Stop and RST Video for ten years, but after the place burns down, they are forced to find work elsewhere. We flash-forward a year later and they are now at a McDonald's-style fast food restaurant called Mooby's. They are joined by two new characters: a Transformers and Lord of the Rings fanatic called Elias (Trevor Fehrman) and their boss Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson). Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) also make a return and are continuing to sell drugs but are now clean after being put into rehab. The main story involves Dante's last day at Mooby's before moving to Florida with his fiancee Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach) and so Randal decides to throw him a going-away party that goes different than planned.

After the disappointing PG-13 rated Jersey Girl, it's great to see Kevin Smith writing the R-rated material that he is so terrific at. Sure, some scenes are rather disgusting (most notably a scene involving a donkey), but what more could you expect from the man who brought us Dogma and Clerks. Clerks II also features the probably best acting I've seen in a Smith film. Everybody in the cast is great and worthy of at least a best ensemble nomination at the SAG Awards (replace that G with a P and you have the correct definition of the Screen Actors Guild if they're not nominated). As per usual, Jeff Anderson and Jason Mewes have the best and funniest lines in the film, but newcomer Trevor Fehrman is also fantastic especially in a scene where he argues with his rival over which trilogy is better: The original Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings. There's an homage of Silence of the Lambs as well as a conversation about Anne Frank and Helen Keller that also go wonderfully well. I will stop now, because I will just end up listing all the very funny parts in the film and most likely spoil it for you. So I recommend seeing Clerks II and don't bring any drink with you in the film, because you will be laughing too hard. Jay and Silent Bob return (despite what Kevin Smith said) in Clerks II.

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