This Film is NOT a Future Release.
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March 10th, 2006:
Ten years older, but not much wiser, the pathetic Dante Hicks (Brian OíHalloran
) and the bitter Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson
) are still stuck at their respective dead-end jobs. When a mishap forces both of them to finally quit, they settle for employment at the local Moobyís (a fictional version of a Disney/McDonaldís type of fast food chain). Somehow, Dante adapts to the new, although still miserable, environment better than Randal, and begins imagining an escape from the dull, minimum-wage confinements of New Jersey. Everything appears to fall in Danteís lap all of a sudden as he even starts a relationship with his attractive manager Becky (Rosario Dawson
). It doesnít take long for the frustrated Randal to exhibit his hostile nature and soon the long time friendship between the two is in jeopardy.What to Expect:
When Kevin Smith
made the grainy low-budget Clerks it was to be the first in his ďJersey Trilogy.Ē When Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was released, it was already the fifth installment in the series. Seemingly, Smith had finally called it quits when he moved on to new material with Jersey Girl. The film, which starred Ben Affleck
, was a pleasant and mature effort from the typically raunchy writer-director, but ended up flopping at the theaters, probably in large part as a result of being released on the heels of an even bigger Affleck catastrophe, Gigli. Perhaps daunted by the outcome, Kevin Smith has opted once again to return to the material that has made him famous. I canít blame him since in his earliest years he produced some remarkable comedies, especially the bittersweet and surprisingly complex Chasing Amy. Article continues below
Although up until Jersey Girl, all of Smithís films have contained a sort of character-based continuity, this is the first time that he is actually revisiting any one specific set of circumstances to make a sequel. Comprised largely of Seinfeld-like monologues and witty verbal exchanges, Clerks was a sequence of bizarre suburban episodes stringed together to loosely form a comedy about one manís dreadful day at work. The crude humor, the awful black and white photography, and the loose narrative style all helped shape an amusing little film that has grown to have a cult following, especially in the state that has helped inspire the situations, New Jersey. Fearing a backlash from fans who would accuse him of selling out, Smith claims that he was hesitant to make the sequel at first, but finally decided how much he loved the characters while working on the tenth-anniversary DVD for the original Clerks. He assures everyone that the film is not a quick scheme to earn a buck, but rather represents his genuine interest in the lives of the characters he once created. As Clerks could be viewed as an accurate representation of his mental state in his twenties, Clerks II will be a similar depiction of his now changed attitude in his thirties. Smith promises a more mature film with a clearly defined story arc that will feel less like a sequel and more like a continuation of the story in a different direction. Fans of his most raunchy work should not be concerned if this sounds a bit too classy since Smith reassures that Clerks II will definitely push the boundaries of decency further than he has ever pushed them before. At least one scene is expected to make even the least squeamish audience members squirm and Smith has been contemplating releasing the film unrated. Ben Affleck and Jason Lee
, whose careers were jump-started thanks in large part to Smith, will make cameos in the sequel. Of course, Jay and Silent Bob couldnít be kept away from the local street corner either so the film should feel just like the old days.
It may seem sort of desperate of Kevin Smith to be reaching way back to his origins in search of new material. He claims to have made a promise to Jason Mewes
that if the hyperactive actor stayed off drugs, he could reprise his role as the beloved Jay, Silent Bobís hetero life mate. Since Mewes accomplished this, Smith kept his word. Apparently, the duo will be drug-free in the film, which I fancy as a humorous twist. Whatever the reasons behind it, the production on the sequel is nearly finished now so it is at least encouraging to see things looking positive. Smith has been gushing about the entire process on his website, clerks2.com, which also features tons of behind the scenes footage. The fact that he has had this extensively devoted website since early on in the production is a testament to his commitment to the movie. One online clip even shows Smithís friends Quentin Tarantino
and Robert Rodriguez
after they have just been shown the first finished cut of Clerks II. Although itís nice to see that their reactions are largely positive and the movie inspires some interesting conversations between the three, it probably should be taken with a grain of salt since itís just long time buddies talking.In Conclusion:
I canít feel overwhelmingly pumped about Smithís rather unoriginal attempts at new comedy as it shows a lack of growth on his part, but heís returning to the type of material he does best. Most importantly, he appears genuinely excited about Clerks II and with another six months to go before the actual release, it feels less like shameless promotion and more like an artistís satisfaction with his work. Itís inevitable that the film will feature the usual, surgical pop culture dissection that Smithís fans have come to love, but hopefully all areas of the screenplay will have the proper care and attention. I would say that Iím looking forward to this film the way I look forward to any of his comedies: with anticipation for the outrageous moments and some reserved skepticism about the story. The plot may hardly even matter as long as Smith is going to deliver the hysterical situations with consistency, and in that sense, Clerks II might be similar to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.Similar Titles: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back