‘Clerks III’ overview: Kevin Smith’s sequel is a sentimental valentine to the film that launched his profession


Grappling with center age, “Clerks III” seems to be unexpectedly sentimental and nostalgic, reflecting that writer-director-editor-co-star Kevin Smith inherently acknowledges this may doubtless be the gang’s remaining go to to Quick Stop Groceries. If so, it’s an uneven if light means to hang around the “We’re closed” signal.

The unique “Clerks” in 1994 was a form of grasp class in micro-budgeted filmmaking, all the way down to the black-and-white cinematography and claustrophobic setting, as two guys killed time within the comfort and video shops the place they labored. Smith revisited the title a dozen years later, upgrading the casting with Rosario Dawson, but it surely took an off-screen trauma that makes all of it deeply private to place what looks like a considerably pointless bow on the entire package deal.

Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are nonetheless as much as their previous tips when the film begins, doing issues like closing as much as play hockey on the roof and debating all the things from films to faith to each concurrently, akin to Randal saying that he prays to Conan the Barbarian’s god, Crom, largely to annoy these round him.

Things take a relatively abrupt and darker flip, nonetheless, when Randal suffers a near-death expertise, clearly impressed by Smith’s personal cardiac episode in 2018. The coronary heart assault prompts Randal to interact in some out-of-character soul looking. Looking for a way of goal, he decides to make a film about their lives, shrugging off the logical query, “Who’d need to watch that?,” and explaining his information of movie by saying, “I labored in a video retailer for 20 years.”

Trevor Fehrman, Brian O'Halloran, Rosario Dawson and Jeff Anderson return in 'Clerks III.'

“Clerks III” thus turns into a form of meta redo of the making of “Clerks,” with loads of callbacks and cameos, the latter cleverly linked to auditions for the movie throughout the movie. And sure, Dawson returns, though not precisely in the best way one would possibly count on.

The weightlessness of the fabric was, initially, principally the purpose, which makes the attain for extra emotional heft ungainly. Smith, who moonlights as a cinematic super-fan, clearly nonetheless harbors monumental affection for these characters and this world, which is strengthened by his monologue over the closing credit, tacking what quantities to a DVD further onto the film. (The movie is receiving a short theatrical run earlier than taking its logical place on the present model of video-store cabinets, digital and streaming.)

Those much less invested in “Clerks” will probably be rewarded with a couple of amusing traces scattered alongside the best way to go along with the disarming pathos woven into the proud immaturity and irreverence.

Frankly, “Clerks” actually isn’t the sort of title meant to have II’s and III’s connected to it, however Smith has delivered an affectionate ode to the movie he made that launched his profession, in addition to those that have been with him, via higher and worse, over the course of the practically three many years which have seen video shops disappear from view.

“Clerks III” will play completely in theaters by way of Fathom Events from September 13-18. It’s rated R.

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