Clerks 2 (2006) Review
Originally Jay and Silent Bob was supposed to be the end of the Askew movies, but six years later Kevin Smith decided to make a return with Clerks II, not only just taking place in the same universe as his other movies but being a direct sequel to the movie that started it all. Following around Dante and Randal once again, there is a big question as to what else can Smith do with these characters?
I won't talk the characters and story too much, because most of the characters return from the original Clerks, and the actual flow of the story is almost identical to that of Clerks. On one hand, it feels lazy in a lot of ways, reusing so much about the first movie for this one. The thing is though, because of the themes of Clerks II, it kind of works in its favor. At this point, this review is pretty much just going to be me talking about the movie's themes, as at this point you'll have wanted to see Clerks before watching this anyway, and if you like the humor there you'll likely like it here.
Clerks was about a guy in his twenties who was in a rut and unable to move on from his situation because he's become too comfortable. Forced to step away from that after the Quick Stop burned to the ground, he finds himself still in basically the same position working at a Fast Food Chain, Mooby's. He's now getting married and about to leave for Florida, and the woman he is marrying is effectively making all of Dante's decisions for him. Having some last-minute doubts, Dante is trying to figure out what it is he even wants in life. It's no longer about taking that step to get out of his rut in life, it's about figuring out what that even is, what it is he wants in life.
Randal, as crazy and unaware of many things as he is, continues to act as a voice of clarity in Clerks II. He's able to say the things that Dante is going through and explain to Dante why things are the way they are. And it's through Randal that Dante finally starts to realize what it is he wants, and this is where things get a bit interesting. At this point, I will be spoiling the show, so to end the review for those who want to no spoilers, Clerks II may not be near the best of the Askew movies, but it's still got a lot of heart and what to say and is a good follow up to the original.
To discuss the show in further detail, I like how it ends on Randal realizing he missed a lot about the life he was leading at the Quick Stop. Rather than just become a Clerk of the store again, however, Dante and Randal get a loan from Jay and Silent Bob (You would need to see the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back to understand how the two weed dealers have that much money to loan out) to buy the Quick Stop, fix it up, and reopen it. As opposed to how Clerks ended, giving you a sense that a bright future isn't out of your hands, Clerks II ends on finally realizing what you want and being able to take that step.
Other nice touches to the movie include call backs to real life, specially the actor for Jay, Jason Mews, had a real life drug addiction. Here in Clerks II he is now sober, reflecting the sobriety of his real life counter part (The character of Jay was based on the real life Jason Mewes who played him). It's also kind of funny to see the callback to Dogma with how Jay is now religious, which considering that movie makes a lot of sense.
Also, there is a Donkey Show. So yeah, good film.