Mallrats is a 1995 film written and directed by Kevin Smith, it is the second film set in Smith’s “View Askewniverse” series of interlocking films and characters, which include Jay and Silent Bob, who are the only characters to have featured in all six films.
Jason Lee, Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams all make there first, of many appearances in the View Askew series, Mallrats was in fact Jason Lee’s first major role in a feature film. After the success of Smith’s début film Clerks, expectations were too high for Mallrats, and it inevitably flopped at the box office due to numerous comparisons to Clerks. Despite strong criticism at the time, Mallrats developed a strong cult following when it was released on video.
When T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee) are both dumped by there girlfriends, they take refuge at the mall. Along the way they meet up with some friends including William, a guy who spends all day staring at a “magic eye picture” desperately trying to see the hidden image. They also meet Gwen, one of T.S.’s ex girlfriends and Trisha Jones, a 15 year old girl conducting an experiment for the purposes of a book she’s writing entitled “Boregasm: A look into the sex drives of men aged 14 – 35.” They also meet up with Jay and Silent Bob, who help them, when they eventually decide that they want there girlfriends back, with some hilarious consequences.
I thought Mallrats was a hilarious film, and Kevin Smith was on top form as always with this great comedy. It contained great dialogue and was in my opinion a step forward for Smith into a world with a budget, we have to remember the beauty of Clerks was in it’s simplicity, where as Smith had a budget for Mallrats which allowed him to do (his now trademark) comic book/cartoon approach to some of his characters and there antics.
An example of this would be Jay and Silent Bob’s attempts to sabotage the stage and set, which gave the feel of Wile E. Coyote failing to catch the road-runner. Those who are unfamiliar with Smith’s style and his “View Askewniverse” will not like Mallrats, as it is absolutely drenched in Smith’s imagination, I however loved the film, and found Jason Lee in particular to be brilliant.