Clerks III arrives in theaters September 13, 2022.
Clerks III is the product of an egoless filmmaker who has nothing to lose. While Jay and Silent Bob Reboot was technically Kevin Smith’s first feature after he narrowly escaped the Cardiac arrest “The widow”, Clerks III represents Smith’s creative account with the life-changing event. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is an uncolored war against reboot culture by an independent gunslinger – Clerks III is a meditative culmination of a father, husband, and apologist for the nerds who have come face to face with his death. Smith’s plentiful metaphors of obsessive culture coincide with unexpected graciousness in an action-packed franchise from corpse boner to fast donkey shows. Come to the rudeness. Stay for reflexive existential warmth like a death star that indicates our feelings.
Smith reopens Quick Stop Groceries again to find Randall (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O’Lorran) still behind the record, squabbling over Star Wars. Nothing has changed, except for the cruelty of Father Time – Smith recreated minute scenes from Clerks with the aging cast for more contrast. Randall starts ripping into eccentric Jesus Elias (Trevor Furman) like every day afterwards second clerks, except this time he is interrupted by an unexpected force – what is classed as a “widow maker” heart attack. You know, the exact condition that Smith conquered himself? With a new outlook on life, Randall decides his second chance shouldn’t be wasted and enlists Dante to help him produce an autobiographical movie based on their exploits as store clerks.
looks familiar? ought to. Randall essentially recreates the scribes in the most retrospective of the job nearly three decades after Smith’s story. The origin story of Sundance Challenger.
Clerks III is the product of maturation despite the depravity of potty-mouth and the fires of medicinal glory. Clerks and Clerks II, for all their obvious chatty, come from a place of devotion – but Clerks III is the awakening of a reborn Smith. As Clerks II takes Clerks and renews Quick Stop tricks into Mooby’s realm, Clerks III allows Smith to fulfill his desires for storytelling beyond the confines of Hollywood. This is not so Remnants of the third part Where the studio’s success depends on escalating hijinx beyond the first two entries. Thanks to the rigors of life, Smith confidently confronts Dante and Randall in decidedly unfamiliar situations and dares to bring the situational comedy out of their unsettling midlife tragedies.
That’s not to say Clerks III isn’t funny — Smith isn’t shy about the bread-and-butter gags that defined Clerks and Clerks II. He allows himself to fondly remember the joys of salsa sharks and milk inspectors as Randall re-shoots the main sequences with the crew of Clerks III, but not without a subtle undercurrent in Randall’s path about starting over, until approaching the age of 50 or later. Smith Starr applies intimacy anew to smooth out the personal roughness found in Randall’s venomous incompetence and Dante’s melancholy inner suffering. Smith’s writing not only serves his healthy, beating heart on a platter, but also allows him to take the South Park approach to Sikh use of Clerks and Clerks II where he learned best (using “Asian” as an unnecessary term, for example). Smith closes the class in his favorite franchise sandbox, but not without saying a proper goodbye.
Smith’s movie-making mantra of himself is key to Clerks III, and he resists the requirements of studio notes that altered the original Clerks’ ending. His Askewniverse view family returns for a circle of eccentric cameos (Supergirls to Batmen) while Smith makes the Clerks sequel more relevant to his experiences, not what audiences might expect. Not only were Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson asked to play a game of rooftop hockey or belittle clients for the third time—Dante and Randall overcome fears, shed tears, and face the fateful music as the inevitable hurricanes of life over New Jersey. The insults through comic book references we’d expect, but the clearly wounded performances from O’Halloran and Anderson are just one example of not expecting Smith’s new directing arsenal.
It’s hard to argue that Clerks III is for discerning fans because Smith’s aversion to predictability can lose viewers of comedy. Jay and Silent Bob seem tame – Smith speaks more as Silent Bob to get into behind-the-scenes descriptive comments that put his specific choices in context – while the mood skews more dramatically. However, the journey of nostalgia becomes redundant in a few cases that looks more like a clip show than a backdoor reappraisal. My patience is tested on Elias when he is reborn as the Demon Crypto Brothers alongside Austin Zagor as he plays the Soltrin Blockchain, Elias’ Silent Bob. At nearly two hours, some middle-part bloat could use rest if only because Smith is at his best at subverting, protesting, and mocking everyone’s assumptions about what Clerks III should be—just another workplace daydream.
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