I have finally completed Kevin Smith's strand of movies, in reverse order. Dogma was so-so, Chasing Amy and Mallrats were hilarious, and I had high hopes going into Clerks, since I had heard such great things about it. Unfortunately, Clerks is Smith's lowest quality movie, not because it is filmed in black and white with low key actors, but because the script just isn't up to par with his other films.
It's understandable, since one's films would preferably get better as the years went on, but I had heard some good things about Clerks. I really don't see what people were talking about...
Clerks is inferior in just about every way to all of the other Kevin Smith movies. The black and white film only accentuates the low budget of this film. The acting is surprisingly bad. And worst of all, the script just isn't that clever.
The script, which is the most important part of all of Smith's movies, just doesn't have that flair that the other ones have. There are the early stages of his form of comedy, such as the onslaught of swearing placed just right to maximize the comedic value, the endless bickering about rather minor stuff, and the low character morals that just about all of Smith's characters possess. Unfortunately, none of these elements have truly taken form yet, and what's left over is an hour and a half movie with sporadic funny scenes.
There are some funny moments but most of the movie is not very entertaining. My attention was tuned in the entire time, but half the time I was wishing for the movie to just end.
Of course, this is the film that introduces Jay and Silent Bob, and out of the all of the films they are the least likeable in Clerks. Maybe at that time Smith never had any intentions of extending their characters into four other films, but it doesn't really matter; Jay (Jason Mewes) dances around like an idiot and sells drugs; Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), of course, just stands there.
Out of all of the Kevin Smith movies, Clerks is the least presentable movie. It foreshadows great things to come, but there is nothing great in the movie itself. If you plan on watching all of the movies, you might as well watch them in chronological order; maybe seeing Clerks first will make Mallrats seem all the funnier.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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