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Clerks 3 – Movie Review
September 30, 2022

Synopsis: Dante, Elias, and 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 needs to be acknowledged. Here is a filmmaker who did what a lot of aspiring filmmakers set out to do, he made a great movie with his friends. The movie was called Clerks. It was made for under $30,000 and it went on to make millions. It had perhaps the most accurate tagline of any film; Just because they serve you, doesn’t mean they like you. Not only was the film successful from a box office standpoint but it became a cult classic. In addition to that status, it provided Kevin Smith the opportunity to make other films like Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jersey Girl, and Red State to name a few.

His movies are usually comedies but regardless they always seem to 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’. Facts. Now I don’t eat cheese, but I would hold a special place in my heart to anyone who brings me a Roti at work. Just saying.

Smith is back with Clerks 3 and this film is 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 characters in the Clerks universe have popped up in more than one occasion in Smiths movies. The antics of Randall and Dante as well as Jay and Silent Bob have invaded pop culture for decades.

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

In this film 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 on in this film Randal has a heart attack and survives and has a new lease on life. He decides after watching life go by, 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 to capture his life.

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

I said this was a love letter to the fans and that wasn’t a cute soundbite, Smith has done an amazing job with not only the casting of this film but making fans of 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. Sure, you can see Clerks 3 without seeing its predecessors, but you’ll feel out in the cold without a winter jacket to keep you warm.      

Take the time, if you haven’t seen them, and see the first two before the third. You’re welcome.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I thought it was funny, sweet, touching and a wonderful compliment 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 etc and their motivation at its core 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+

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