Kevin Smith’s Clerks III cashes in on nostalgia—at a dispiriting cost

(From left) Randall (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O'Halloran) in Kevin Smith's Clerks III.

(From left) Randall (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O’Halloran) in Kevin Smith Clerk III,
photo, lionsgate

There’s a 90-minute movie hidden in a nearly two-hour runtime of Clerk III, It’s too bad writer-director Kevin Smith doesn’t have the clarity of vision he once had to refine the ideas well enough to let his narrative do the talking. Instead, he explains at the end what this movie is all about. should have Done: A tribute to those who inspired what has become a trilogy. If he made this third chapter in the quick-stop grocery “saga” the self-reflective exploration of his beloved, sharp clerks who are negotiating a world full of anger not only to be met but rewarded with their crappy standards We all will be better for it. Instead, he delivers a sad-sack iteration that fails to give an emotionally earned closure to the characters who must conquer their tribulations.

Sixteen years after Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) and his sardonic bestie Randall Graves (Jeff Anderson) buy and restore their former workplace, the two remain behind the counter serving unwanted mother-in-law to their quirky clients. Local burnout Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) hang out outside a mini-mart. On the surface, life appears to have remained the same, yet they have all experienced significant gains and losses. Randall turns his bankrupt video rental store into a successful weed dispensary, but Dante is dealt with an unlucky hand, trying to heal his anguish over the sudden, sudden death of his wife Becky (Rosario Dawson) and young daughter. have failed. His friendship with Randall endures, but it faces its biggest test.

After an intense altercation with Randall, Bible-thumping, NFT-dealing employee Elias (Trevor Fehrman), collapses on the store floor. He is on the verge of a heart attack, sending Elias into a flurry of anxious prayers and leaving Dante vulnerable to his past trauma of losing loved ones. The emergency, living-saving stent inserted into Randall’s heart gives him an epiphany: Instead of being a supervillain of movies, he’s going to make one about his life. hijinks and some hilarity as he writes, casts and films what becomes the film we know clerks,

Series continuity is observed only when convenient to Smith. Refurbished stores don’t quite coincide with the end of the financial crisis Clerk II (where the perpetually lazy Jay and silent Bob saved the day), a choice primarily made to bring back his constant collaborator and real-life wife Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, playing Dante’s bitchy ex-fiance Emma. Was. While he recounts Dante’s continuing struggle to feel stagnant and hopeless, he betrays the essence of the character, surprisingly not letting his victim creation grow as he has consistently done so in the past. This is disappointing.

Worse, Smith reintroduces similar third-act beats from the film’s 2006 predecessor, which not only seems redundant, but highlights a dire need for broad commentary in the meta-context of the franchise. . Randall manages to learn the same exact lessons about his friendship with Dante as before, this time with less finesse. This is the watered-down redux of their friction in both clerks And Clerk II, Whose story poignancy is reduced by baseless jokes and jokes. Meanwhile, “fridging” the franchise’s leading lady in order to give a male character an arc feels like a particularly wrong-headed and insidious move.

Clerk III (2022 Movie) Official Trailer – Kevin Smith

While the filmmaker shares the picture in his patent style with callbacks and references (don’t worry, there’s even more dialogue about the obscure star wars characters), the really funny jokes are few and far between. A revolving door of cameos from Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melissa Benoist, and Ben Affleck, among others, amp up the proceedings, while offering respite from the second act plateau of energy. He relies heavily on soundtrack cues, including My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade”, Jefferson Starship’s “Find Your Way Back”, and John Gorka’s “I’m From New Jersey”, to amplify his fake emotional cathars. Can go

Smith’s insight into aging and nostalgia masks a noticeable, frustrating inability to engage with the finer points, something he has done before. It’s plausible that he puts these guys back in his jersey bubble, but we’re living in an era full of Dantes and Randalls, and so far they don’t feel comfortable. However, Smith and his colleagues are eager to deliberately reunite us with these sly Gen-Xers during their respective mids.Life crisis, his efforts could use a lot more polish. In the end, the absence of any meaningful emotion about grief or personal growth (or anything else) makes the story go crazy, cramming the familiar feels especially sleazy—that’s why. Clerk III Lives up to the legacy of its nostalgic characters in all the wrong ways.

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