Just like the midgets in Lord of the Rings, we walk from one end of the Jersey Series, we travel to the other. Except we skip all the middle bits. And there’s no Orcs. And we aren’t walking. So it’s not like the midgets in Lord of The Rings at all...Today’s film is Clerks 2.
Made a decade after the first, Clerks 2 sees Dante and Randall still working their lousy jobs at the strip mall. A fire puts paid to that and they soon find new jobs at a local Mooby’s fast food emporium. Cut to a year later, and it’s Dante’s last day on the job as he’s moving to Florida with his fiancé, Emma. Also along for the ride are the boys’ boss, Becky; Elias, the world’s nicest guy (and hero worshipper of Randall) and the new and improved Jay and Silent Bob.
Once again, the day finds the guys (and now gals) musing on life, love, sex, pop culture, religion and race. However, the big topic of the day is Dante’s upcoming nuptials. It seems that our Mr Dante has himself some second thoughts, and has gone and done something a little stupid with Becky. So, it’s up to Randall, Jay, Bob and yes, even Elias, to show Dante where his true loves lay. And it ain’t in Florida. And how do they do this? By organising the greatest bachelor party ever featuring the greatest entertainment ever – Kinky Kelly and The Sexy Stud. Yes, folks, this comedy features a donkey show (“interspecies erotica, fucko!”) and it is hilarious. Needless to say, things go horribly awry – but everyone learns a jolly good lesson.
It’s good to see that time has not dulled Dante or Randall with the two characters remaining just as sharp as ever (thankfully this is due to the fact that the actors behind them remain just as likeable as ever). In fact, if time has done anything to them, it has given them more heart (regardless of the fact that Randall’s first major diatribe is against the handicapped...and that is him being good) – and you can tell that these are two guys who have basically had themselves to depend on for the past decade, moving from mere friends to outright being brothers. They aren’t the only ones who have changed, though, as Jay has gone from a drug fiend to a more irascible “lovable lout” (no doubt reflecting the change in life that Jason Mewes himself has gone through since the first film).
And let’s not forget the new additions to the happy little family. Rosario Dawson’s Becky is a perfect foil for the boys, and the fact that she is a strong, ballsy woman makes her presence so much better. She is able to give as good as she gets, and in some cases steamrolling right over them and flat refusing to put up with any of Randall’s shenanigans. However, as great as she is, it is Elias that truly shines, both as a character and as Trevor Fuhrman, the actor behind him. As a character, he is like nothing that Smith has ever had in his casts – someone who wants to do good just because it’s the right thing to do. He’s such a happy, innocent counterpoint to the bitterness of the others that his presence is a pure breath of fresh air – and it’s simply amazing that he works so well with them, he’s almost the anti-Jay.
Out of the numerous differences between this and the first, the most prominent is Clerks 2 is (asides from the first and last scenes) entirely in colour. And that really works, especially to highlight the difference between the soul crushing grey world of a crappy strip mall, and the bright and happy (but no less soul crushing) world of fast food. The whole world just seems to pop more, especially during the “for no reason at all” musical number about halfway through.
Not only is Clerks 2 a more than worthy sequel and addition (closer?) to the Jersey Series, but on reflection, I think it goes down as my favourite of the lot.