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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

DVD Watch: Clerks 2

In 1994, Kevin Smith gave us Clerks and it was good. He maxed out credit cards, sold off his comics and dipped into his college fund to pay for the film - shot in black and white and a cast flushed out with family and friends. Its status as a cult classic is undeniable and the movie easily stands the test of time with its absurdity, grit and heart.

To date, Smith's success hasn't made any better films with the possible exception of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Clerks 2 falls somewhere in between. It's staple Smith work, but it's hard to capture the attraction of an indie movie without actually being an indie movie. If Jay and Silent Bob delivered big budget parodies and in-jokes of Smith's own work ... Clerks 2 offers an almost sentimental reflection on the movie that started it all.

The addition of Rosario Dawson to the set was most wise of Smith. In truth, nobody could assume the roles of Dante and Randall other than O'Halloran and Anderson and they fit back into the story seamlessly. Dawson, however, serves as a centerpiece who carries the movie with more range and depth than any other character in the movie. She alone makes the film a step above a simple color rehash of the previous characters.

I'm not sorry I missed this film in the theatres but I am still darn glad to have seen it on DVD. Even if it lacks the snap that made the first film so great, it has a lot of heart and tons of over-the-top humor. I would also heavily recommend the animated series for those that managed to miss out when it aired briefly.

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