Kevin Smith returns with Jay and Silent Bob’s sixth outing in his View Askiewniverse series, the others being Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The movies are all linked by characters, themes and events and each story often contains numerous references to the others; however, Clerks II is the first official sequel to another film since the series began way back in 1994 with the original cult-classic Clerks.
Smith wrote and directed this sequel to the ground-breaking Clerks, and as always plays the loveable Silent Bob. Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson are back as Dante and Randal, and Jason Mewes returns as Jay. One of the main things that prompted Smith to make this film was a promise he’d made to Jason Mewes, that if he stopped using drugs, he’d get to play Jay one last time, sure enough he went to a rehabilitation clinic and Smith kept his promise.
Clerks II Cast
A few new-comers are on the scene this time around, including Trevor Fehrman as the desperately awkward Elias, and Rosario Dawson as love interest and manager to the goatee’d wonder that is Dante Hicks. Not only this, but for true View Askew aficionados there are a number of fan-favourite cameos including the likes of Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, and Ben Affleck.
When the quick-stop store burns down, Dante and Randal have to look for new horizons; they settle for Mooby’s, a fictional fast-food restaurant in which they’re flipping burgers and earning little money. Despite ageing, Dante and Randal don’t seem to have grown-up, and are still at their old ways of discussing popular culture and sex (a Kevin Smith stable, for those who are unfamiliar with his work). Things look good for Dante as he plans on moving out to Florida with a woman whom he intends on marrying; that is until questions about his true desires in live rear their head. Jay and Silent Bob are back to their loitering ways, as they follow Dante and Randal to Mooby’s where they deal drugs and annoy customers with the outrageous antics they are now famous for.
Much like with the first Clerks film, the dialogue is absolutely hilarious and takes a simple plot to higher levels. Kevin Smith has great talent in his writing capabilities and references to “ass-to-mouth” and a hilarious Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings debate are brilliant, and Jay and Silent Bob are brilliant as always. However, the truest praise should be given towards Jeff Anderson’s character Randal, who is even more outrageously funny in Clerks II than he was in the first one, with some absolutely hysterical lines this time around.
Unfortunately Clerks II doesn’t quite match up to the first film for me, but is without question a very worthy sequel deserving far more praise than the majority of critics have given it. Considering the relatively limiting budget of $5,000,000 you really can’t knock what Smith and his cast and crew have achieved with this flick.
If one had to point out a single minor flaw, you could argue that Smith may have gone a little over the top with the bestiality subject. Naturally, personal preference will play a strong role in your thoughts on that subject. Despite this, Clerks II does exactly as it sets out to do, and that is to inspire and to entertain. I for one cannot wait for the third and final instalment of the series (as announced by the man himself) some time next year.