Review Date: July 17, 2006
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Producers: Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith
Jeff Anderson as Randal
Brian O'Halloran as Dante
Rosario Dawson as Becky
The first thought that came to my mind as this film started and laughs began to sneak out of the audience – which included my sorry ass – was, “Phew, I’m so fuckin’ glad this movie doesn’t suck!” Other than the fact that I like the writer/director Kevin Smith on a personal level and wanted his film to succeed, it was also because his original film CLERKS is what exploded my own love of movies in the first place, along with RESERVOIR DOGS a couple of years before that. Those two films single-handedly made me feel as though “anyone” could, at the very least, attempt to get into movies (I wrote 4 screenplays of my own after that), and even though many peeps aren’t half as talented as either Smith or Quentin Tarantino, just having given me that open door to success, really helped me get my shit together at that time of my life, and a few years later, inject that love of flicks into my own website, which…well, you’re reading right now!! I know that’s a pretty big preface to my review, but it’s some background shit that needed to be said, so that you can take what you will out of this review, knowing from where I roam. Okay, I feel better now.
As for the film itself, well, on the whole it succeeds on the same sort of level that the first film worked on, as a guy living in this day and age, in his 20s. This film is geared more toward those people who still haven’t found happiness or direction in their lives, despite being in their 30s, and all of the pressures/expectations that come with that. But before I make it all sound like a bore, trust me when I say that this film’s primary motivation is jokes, laughs, gags and vulgarity galore, so don’t be thinking that K. Smith has pussied out, because any film that can contain in-depth conversations about “ass-to-mouth”, scenarios in which characters discuss an oversized clit being like a “small penis” and much of the action culminating at a bestiality event…yeah, the man has still “got it” and he doesn’t mind going over the limits to get there. For me though, the biggest laughs came from Jay and Randall, as per the original CLERKS. Jay especially, who is a little underused in this film, in my opinion, is hilarious in every one of his scenes and deliveries. I also like the way Smith injected Jay’s real-life rehab stint into the proceedings. Nice.
Randall too is ideal to deliver the sometimes overly-wordy lines written by Smith, making them all sound natural and above all…very, very funny (and everyone’s “acting” seems to have improved as well). Even the new LOTR geeky kid worked as an overly-Christian good boy with some very “strange” ideas about sex. Nice addition. Smith also tosses a cute romance into the flick, which you can see telegraphed from the first scene onwards, but still comes through, and I think a lot of that credit has to go to Rosario Dawson, who comes off sexy, cute and adorable, all in one. Also, any movie that can feature Dawson dancing/bouncing her heart away in a tight tanktop is “all good” in my books. On the downside, I could have done without the cameos which didn’t really bring much to the table, and at least one musical montage that went a little overboard (to the Jackson 5’s ABC-123??), and as per Smith’s usual style, some scenes felt a little overlong and talky, but at the same time, a lot of the things brought forth in those scenes were fun and made sense, so it’s hard to knock them entirely. To his credit, Smith has also improved on his writing, which doesn’t sound as “written” as it did in some of his earlier movies. Also, with so many crappy H’wood comedies coming out these days, I guess I shouldn’t complain too much about a man who writes dialogue funnier than most any other paid-by-the-screenplay comedy writer out there.
Much of the stuff in this film is obviously organic for Smith, and as a 30-something with fucked up humor myself, I could relate to a lot of his shtick, even the “best friend” tete-a-tete nearing the end of the film. I was also impressed with some of the choices of song in the film including the great King Diamond, “1979” by the Smashing Pumpkins and the perfect song to end it all, with an “artsy” finale featuring the camera pulling back on the final shot. Sniff, sniff…sweet. When I first heard about this sequel being made, I was scared like many of you, but I’m happy to report that this is a solid movie with laughs galore, pop-culture reference galore, vulgarity and sexual connotations galore (love those PillowPants!) and even a cute romance for the ladies in the audience. If you’re a fan of Kevin Smith and his previous films, I see no reason why this movie wouldn’t rock your balls off. Note: If you stay to the end of the credits you can see more “Thank yous” from Smith, as well as his tease that “Jay and Silent Bob might be back” in the future, and I for one, am suddenly aroused by that thought all over again. Snoochie bootchies, beeyatch!