In 1994 Kevin Smith directed a movie with a few of his friends called Clerks. The gang reunited again in 2006 for Clerks II. And finally, the time has arrived. The gang of misfits, bizarre humor and clever pop culture jokes is finally back. That’s right, Clerks III is here. The film is a monumental achievement of comedy that pushes the envelope in the obscenest, yet funniest ways. The laughs and gags continue, but even more so than ever before in the franchise.
Some may find the humor in this and the previous Clerks films over the top, but that is what makes it genius. And no film in the franchise is more genius than Clerks III. There are tons of one-liners, and many topics that I could relate to and recall as they revisit many portions of the previous Clerksfilms through satirical conversations and discussions on a variety of gag topics.
In Clerks III the characters we all love are back, including Dante (played by Brian O’Halloran), Randal (played by Jeff Anderson), Elias (played by Trevor Fehrman), Jay (played by Jason Mewes), and Silent Bob (played) by Kevin Smith. They all bring giggles and laughs with gags that are memorable and pure genius. Even Silent Bob shows his funniness through his facial expressions. My mind was rambling with laughter from the very start and there is a punch line around every corner in Clerks III.
This is how the fun continues in Clerks III. After sixteen years Dante and Randal have departed from the Mooby’s fast-food restaurant and are back working at the Quick Stop. Jay and Silent Bob are still doing their usual loitering and Elias is still around. So the normal from the original Clerks has returned, but everything changes when Randal has a heart attack. Randal recovers and he decides to make a movie based on his life from Clerks and Clerks II. Randal is determined, and he even says, “I worked in a video store for twenty years, and I watched movies all day long—I went to my own film school!” I have not laughed so hard with a film by Smith in a long while.
Mewes and Smith have kept the franchise strong as Jay and Silent Bob. In Clerks III, they are the center of much of the revisited scenarios from Clerks and Clerks II, and they bring in lots of the perspective, as they bring their humor to the table with the wittiest attitudes and gnarly adventures. Clerks IIIwould certainly not be the same without Jay and Silent Bob. Despite their crazy disagreements with Dante and Randal, they are all a knockout of joy.
Although Clerks III is, again, incredibly funny, it does not take a formulaic approach to its humor. And I love how none of what is important from the previous films is forgotten. In one scene they are all talking about the process of moviemaking, and Jay shows everyone a videotape. But he does not actually have a VHS player, so they attempt to watch the film by holding it up to the light. It’s bizarre and stupid, but it’s also a clever reference back to the VHS days and to the first Clerks, when Randal worked in a video store. Randal still argues movie franchises with Elias. Jay and Silent Bob still loiter to a ridiculous extent. Dante is still just Dante, making crazy decisions but ultimately being Randal’s best friend. All of these guys were born to be in the Clerks films, in a franchise that is spectacularly funny. Can Randal make his movie? Catch Clerks III and find out. But be prepared for sore lungs from laughter. Four stars for Clerks III.