‘Clerks III’ Review: An Oddly Poignant Sequel
The phrase “this one’s for the fans” is usually delivered from a defensive posture. But in the case of “Clerks III,” it’s practically a statement of purpose. Now nearly three decades removed from the microbudget indie that made him one of the most unlikely major auteurs of the 1990s, writer-director-podcaster Kevin Smith has once again returned to the New Jersey Quick Stop where he first staked his claim as a filmmaker, bringing his now-fiftysomething slacker heroes back to confront the listlessness of middle age. But the real focus of “Clerks III” is not really Randal and Dante at all, but rather the film “Clerks” itself, and Smith aims this third installment straight at his diminished but still rabid fanbase, for whom the film remains a touchstone.
After a lively opening sequence scored to My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” – Jersey pride is on full display in Smith’s music choices here – we settle in once again with Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), still working at the Quick Stop, but seemingly content with their narrowing prospects in life. Dante is no longer engaged to Becky (Rosario Dawson), his fiancée from “Clerks II,” for reasons the film gradually makes clear. Randal is as motormouthed as ever, barely managing to tolerate younger protégé Elias (Trevor Fehrman). Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) are still endlessly loitering around the property, though this time as the owners of a cannabis dispensary where RST Video used to be.
But just when the film seems to be leaning back into the franchise’s old slice-of-life rhythm, Randal is laid low with a near-fatal heart attack. Taking stock of his life choices while recovering, he decides to finally make something of his life, and resolves to write and direct a film based on his and Dante’s experiences as convenience store clerks. Shot in black-and-white. With everyone from the Quick Stop scene playing themselves. In other words, he sets out to make the film “Clerks.”…
…Read the Full Article @ Variety
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