Kevin Smith’s Third “Clerks” Movie is Another Great Success

Synopsis: Dante, Elias, Jay, and Silent Bob are enlisted by Randal after a heart attack to make a movie about the convenience store that started it all.
Director: Kevin Smith
Stars: Jeff Anderson, Brian O’Halloran, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Trevor Fehrman

Kevin Smith did what many aspiring filmmakers set out to do: make a great movie with his friends, which needs to be acknowledged. The film was called Clerks. It was made for under $30,000 and went on to make millions.

The film had perhaps the most accurate tagline of any movie; Just because they serve you doesn’t mean they like you. The film was a box office success, became a cult classic, and provided Kevin Smith an opportunity to make other films like Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jersey Girl, and Red State, to name a few.

Smith is not only a great director but his ‘Evening with Kevin Smith’ series is legendary, as Barney from How I Met Your Mother would say. Smith doesn’t give one-word answers, and his passion for film and filmmaking can’t be hidden.

Smith’s movies are usually comedies, but regardless they always have a poignant moment where he drops wise with great lines like, “You know there’s a million fine women in the world, but they don’t all bring you lasagna at work.”

Now, I don’t eat cheese, but I’d hold a special place in my heart for anyone who brings me a Roti at work—just saying.

Smith is back with Clerks 3, a clear love letter to his fans. Many times, filmmakers have great first films but don’t revisit them. We never saw The Sixth Sense 2 or Memento 2.0, but the characters in the Clerks universe have popped up on more than one occasion in Smith’s movies. The antics of Randall and Dante, as well as Jay and Silent Bob, have invaded pop culture for decades.

In Clerks 3, we catch up with Dante (O’Halloran) and Randal (Anderson), who are still working at the Quick Stop. (If you saw Clerks 2, you know). Early in the film, Randal suffers a heart attack but survives and has a new lease on life. He decides that he needs to document his life with a movie. A movie within a movie? Inception!

Hilarity and serious moments ensue as ‘Director’ Randal sets off to make an epic film and capture his life.

In typical Kevin Smith style, the film is filled with cameos from his famous friends. While they add to the film, the true brilliance is listening to the characters speak with each other. Smith’s dialogue is always on point. He seamlessly jumps between funny quips and serious moments. I appreciate how he takes items that are currently topical and relevant and blends them into the discussion of his films.

Describing this film as a love letter to his fans isn’t a cute soundbite; Smith has done an amazing job with not only the film’s casting but also making the series feel quite nostalgic. Usually, I would say, ‘you don’t need to see parts one or two.’ Not this time. They are required viewing.

You can see Clerks 3 without seeing its predecessors, but you’ll feel like you’re out in the cold without a winter jacket to keep you warm.      

Take the time and see the first two before the third — you’re welcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It is funny, sweet, touching, and a wonderful complement to the series.

It blows my mind that the original Clerks was back in 1994. And while I am usually skeptical about remakes, reboots, sequels, and the motivation to make them, Clerks 3 is very similar to the original—a film where the filmmaker just wanted to make a great movie with his friends.

Kevin Smith, I acknowledge you.

Grade: B+

Watch the movie trailer: