Reviewed by: Jennifer Constantine
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|Featuring:||Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Rosario Dawson, Jason Lee, Kevin Weisman|
|Producer:||Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Carla Gardini|
“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.
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.