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Movie Review

Clerks II: The Second Coming

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive sexual and crude content including aberrant sexuality, strong language and some drug material

Reviewed by: Jennifer Constantine

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Comedy, Drama, Sequel
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
July 21, 2006 / DVD release: November 28, 2006
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Copyright, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
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Featuring: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Rosario Dawson, Jason Lee, Kevin Weisman
Director: Kevin Smith
Producer: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Carla Gardini
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

“They still don’t like you. In fact, they like you even less.”

“Clerks II” is a foul movie. But, if you are a Kevin Smith fan, you already knew that. This movie is loaded with foul language and crude, perverse jokes. So going into the screening, I had prepared myself, but, despite this fact, I was still very offended by the movie. On the other hand, there were things I liked. Let me explain.

The movie opens some twelve months after the original “Clerks” introduced us to Jersey Shore slackers whose lives revolved around the convenience store where they worked. Throw in a couple of scene-stealing drug dealers and a whole generation was hooked. Dante (Brian O’Halloran), our protagonist comes to work one day and finds the quick stop has burned to the ground. So the entire crew moves to Mooby’s (a cow-themed, fast food restaurant) to work and hangout.

This movie is actually better than the first, if only because the audience feels connected to the characters due to it being a sequel. This is a movie about not letting life pass you by. In an attempt to avoid that, Dante decides to marry his girlfriend and move to Florida where he will enjoy the good life and a cushy job given to him by his future father-in-law.

Several characters express regret over how their lives have panned out. There is a surprisingly poignant scene where Dante and Randal (Jeff Anderson) go bumper-car riding and Randal expresses how it reminds him of better times when they had their whole lives in front of them and the world at their feet. The big surprise in this movie is that Jay and Silent Bob actually get saved (off screen) while doing a stint in rehab. They continue to deal drugs, and when asked how they will cope with the temptation to keep using, Jay states that Jesus will help him and proceeds to whip out a bible. While obviously the work of sanctification has only just begun with the pair, there are times when Smith nails Christianity right on its head, plain and simple.

Rosario Dawson and Trever Fehrman as the scene-stealing Elias complete the Mooby’s crew. Ben Affleck and Jason Lee (of “My Name Is Earl” fame) have cameos.

The disappointing elements of the film deal with sex and monogamy being treated very light-heartedly (although Jay stands up for a woman whose fiancée gets another woman pregnant by calling him a crude name). There are very inappropriate elements, including bestiality, a woman pulling her shirt over her head while wearing a very sheer bra, drug use, drinking, nudity (Jay mooning, and then in another scene full frontal, although he is “tucked in”), and masturbation. I lost count of the number of times foul language was used, but I am not exaggerating when I say that it is almost every sentence.

Director Kevin Smith is a conundrum. While he acknowledges God on a regular basis (and frequently thanks God in the closing of his movies), it seems that he takes delight in irreverently doing so. Elias, one of the supporting characters, is a Christian, but he is portrayed to be a weak one. Dante wears a cross around his neck, but I really wondered why. Jay and Silent Bob seem to be better Christians than Elias, because they understand that Jesus is the source of strength.

What I liked about this movie was that it gives the characters a happy ending, as it transitions them into adults at long last. I found that for a simple comedy, it had complex layers—examining what becomes of us as we leave our twenties, and adolescence disappears for good. 1 Corinthians 13 says “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” I found myself caring about the characters by the end of the movie—something that the original never inspired me to do. It would be great to see Jay and Silent Bob evangelizing in their next movie, along with Elias (who I hope becomes a recurring character in Kevin Smith’s movies). I left the theater with a positive feeling, but I don’t recommend “Clerks II”, as it contains a lot of offensive material.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:
Positive—If you have seen the original “Clerks”, you already have a good understanding of the offensive humor within “Clerks II”. This film is about Dante and Randal, the notorious duo from “Clerks”, finally making a decision in their life. After working for over a decade at a convenient store, Dante finds the Quick Stop, the convenient store he worked at, and RST Video, the video store Randal worked at, burned up. Upon calling the local fire department, Randal shows up, and looks at the ruins of what used to be the so called hellhole they worked at. Skip one year later. Dante and Randal have gotten a job at Mooby’s, a fast food restaurant down the street. Jay and Silent Bob, who used to hang out by the Quick Stop, have now started hanging outside of the Mooby’s. Even though they cleaned up their drug addiction with the Power of Christ as their motivation (along with many months of rehab), they are still up to their regular mischief, including drug dealing.

This movie is morally wrong and morally sick, at times (even though it is a movie, there are so many offensive things from start until finish). At one point, Randal suggests the proper ending to “Return of the King” is an oral sex scene between Frodo and Sam. Probably the most disgusting is the Donkey Show, where a Bestiality performer has sex with a donkey. This, though meant to be a humorous going away party for Dante, made several people simply walk out the audience. There is a large dose full of offensive jokes, which though just jokes, are ones which may disgust a devout Christian, or just anyone for that matter.

Despite the moral offenses in the film, it does have a very powerful message, which really speaks out to people. This film isn’t just about the humor. It’s about being happy with life. Throughout the film, Dante is slowly enlightened that he doesn’t have to change his lifestyle because other people do it, and that he can be a Clerk. That he can make a choice, rather than having his fate chosen. It’s a true-to-the-heart message, and, in one way at least, nods agreement with what Jesus taught. If you are willing to sit through 90 minutes of jokes considered highly offensive by a biblical, Christian worldview, and are willing to look past these problems, you probably will enjoy the flick. Just remember—they’re all just jokes, not meant to be taken seriously.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—James Lee, age 20
Neutral—“Clerks 2” is a hard movie to judge. On the one hand, it contains a ridiculous amount of curse words, sexual talk and just plain crude discussions. On the flip side though, the film has a really powerful theme of friendship. Dante and Randall have been through a lot during there friendship and Randall admits that Dante has been his only real friend that he’s ever had. The movie also contains several conversations about God, some clear-cut (Jay and Silent Bob’s salvation) and some that push the envelope (Randall’s constant ridiculing of Elias for his faith). I definitely would think twice about letting anyone under the age of 16 see the movie, but to anyone old enough, “Clerks 2” is a funny and well-made film that will make you think.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Mike, age 27
Neutral—I admit I liked the first “Clerks” a lot, despite it’s vulgarity and sexual dialog. With my opinion of “Clerks” 1 in mind, I went and saw “Clerks 2”. Now, I had an idea of what to expect from the trailers, so I expected it to be at least a little bit offended by this film. I was right. Jay claims he is saved, but doesn’t act like it, and Elias who is a Christian that works with Randall and Dante is portrayed as a whiner who can’t do anything for himself and is easily misled. (By the end of the movie he succumbs to Jay’s goading and does get drunk.) Plus, with all the talk of sex and vulgar language—and a scene that is no less than bestiality, I cannot recommend this film to any Christian, especially ones whose faith in the Lord is not firm. I prayed before going to see this movie that God would not allow me to be corrupted by it. That aside, the film does have some positive notes. It does accentuate the value of friendships and the theme that what is best for you may be in front of you, and you don’t realize it. I do admit that I laughed a lot during this movie, except the scenes making fun of Christians. Overall, I did enjoy it, however, I don’t think I’ll be adding this one to my DVD collection.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Daniel, age 24
Negative—Pornographic and nerdy. The “Christian” characters in the film literally deny Christ for “Lord of The Rings,” take pleasure in watching a man having sex with a mule, deal illegal drugs, and curse like sailors. I see no reason a Christian should see this film. As for non-Christians, the film is overall poor in quality, contains irritating characters, and is generally a waste of time.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Adam, age 24
Negative—This is one of those movies where no one can really say they were blindsided by the content. If you’re seeing this movie, you’ve seen other Kevin Smith movies, and if you haven’t, if you came upon this movie by accident? Well, that seems so unlikely that I’d say it’s no one’s fault but your own. So, we all know what we’re getting ourselves into. It’s going to be really, really vulgar. This may be the first movie that could garner a Moral Rating of: Incessantly and Intentionally Offensive. But at the same time, a movie can be offensive to prove a point. And just because I know it’s going to be vulgar, that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to take offense at it. The film isn’t absolved from criticism, just because it tells us its own flaws. As well, something can be offensive in a funny way, or just in an offensive way, and much of “Clerks II” is, unfortunately, the latter. Sure, the offense is mostly harmless; because his characters aren’t serious, because the movie isn’t serious, that takes some of the edge off the things he’s saying, but still. After a while, it’s just gross.

Even as a teenager, I’ve never been a die-hard Kevin Smith fan, or even a big “Clerks” fan. I loved “Chasing Amy,” and “Dogma” has its moments, but on the whole, his movies are usually good for some laughs, but they leave you feeling like you need a shower. Are there some nice moments of true friendship between Dante and Randall? You bet. I liked their “Go-Kart” excursion, and a few other tid-bits. Did I laugh? Oh, yes, I did. I loved the “Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars” stuff, but even that went south at the end. It IS possible to be bored by the offensive material. It turns into the same old thing: Set up, set up, offense. First, you’re shocked by it, then you expect it, then you dread it, but it won’t go away.

Kevin Smith is hit and miss for me, and there was much, much more missing here. The storyline was pretty lame, and a lot of the dialogue seemed pretty stale and forced. And the movie’s message wasn’t all that great, either. Don’t start a new life, because you’ll be leaving your friends. Eh, I don’t think that’s really accurate.

It seems to me that Kevin Smith isn’t really growing as a filmmaker. He isn’t expanding his talents. He’s just repeating the same stuff over and over, and it’s not that interesting to see anymore. I think he’s funny, and he’s actually funnier, I think, when he’s NOT trying to shock us. This movie didn’t really even need to be made, it doesn’t really offer us much, and it doesn’t really need to be seen.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Jason Eaken, age 22
Negative—Terrible! The worst movie of the year! If it were not for Silent Bob, it would be the worst movie of all time!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—John, age 20
Comments from young people
Negative—I couldn’t believe that I actually wasted my money on me and my friends to watch garbage like this! They made Christians look like idiots and made them look foolish! Sexual immorality, not very funny, cursing, bestiality (sexual immorality)… It’s all in there. You’re probably just missing murder. …this movie is horrible to watch for viewers. I cannot believe that some of you are actually giving it a positive! Didn’t Jesus state to not be of the world?
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 2
—Jorge, age 17
Positive—This is Kevin Smith’s sixth ViewAskew film, and probably one of his best. While there is a great deal of offensive material, the filmmaking quality is good, and there was a nice message in the end. This movie is not for the easily offended or for “baby” Christians.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Paul, age 17