July 21, 2006

Finally, A Decent Summer Movie

THERE’S NOTHING like a round of plotless action films, insipid remakes, and iffy horror films to make one wish for the halycon days of high school, back when Hollywood made really inspired movies for the summer movie season. This summer’s movies have been so bad that the high point has been waiting for “Snakes on a Plane” to make its debut in August. Yeah. “Snakes on a Plane.”

However, I think we’ve turned a corner. For today, I went out and saw “Clerks II,” the long-awaited sequel to “Clerks,” the iconic 1994 movie which inspired and defined a generation. Well, at least it inspired lots of people my age, who were born in the mid- to- late-Seventies and grew up with Star Wars, and who react to most circumstances in life with a combination of passive-aggressive behavior, ranting aloud and terminal ennui. Yeah. Ennui.

Anyway, even though it’s been ten years since the first “Clerks,” and even though it was impossible for director Kevin Smith to top “Clerks,” the sequel is a damn fine movie and, even better, a damn fine sequel. I laughed hysterically at the very first scene and kept laughing throughout, and the ending was unexpected and even a bit poignant. Perhaps the best – and most amazing thing – was how Smith managed to keep things fresh, all while addressing the fact that ten years have passed since the first movie.

Also, “Clerks” fans can rest assured the main characters remain the same. Dante is still high-strung and dissatisfied with his life, while his partner-in-crime Randal is still sarcastic, bitter and a complete schmuck to others. I mean, more so than usual.

Thus, “Clerks II” is definitely worth seeing if you’re between the ages of 25 and 34, which I guess is kind of the “Clerks” demographic, and you’re not offended when curmudgeonly characters (by which I mean Randal) say truly horrible things just because it sets up a really good argument between Randal, Dante, and anyone else within earshot. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is sacred.

But then, nothing ever was in “Clerks,” and that was partly the joy of it.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at July 21, 2006 07:58 PM | TrackBack
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