Clerks III

I have been a huge fan of Kevin Smith for years, but, for me, most of his movie filmography is hit-and-miss. I love listening to Kevin Smith talk as he is one of the best storytellers around. I love his podcast, but his movies are split. I loved Dogma, Red State, and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. I liked Tusk, but I disliked Yoga Hosers.

As for Clerks, I enjoyed the original film, but I disliked Clerks 2 a great deal, so when I heard Smith was working on a Clerks 3, I was torn.

I caught a showing of Clerks 3 through a Fathom events presentation last night as the film is not opening wide. Instead, Kevin Smith is taking it on tour, as he did with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

We returned to the Quick Stop to reunite with Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randall (Jeff Anderson), who continue to work at the convenience store that they co-own. Randall survived a massive heart attack and the trauma lead him to try and make a change of his life. He decided to make his life into a movie, in a hugely meta way, which looks very much like the first Clerks film.

This first act of the film was really hard for me because I have a tendency toward hypochondria, the scenes with the heart attack and at the emergency room was rough for me. I was extremely uncomfortable during it and I was desperately hoping to get through that section. Thankfully, it moved along soon after that. The film is clearly telling the story of Kevin Smith’s real life survival of the Widowmaker heart attack from a few years ago.

I liked a lot of the humor in this. I found the amount of drug humor, which I have never been a huge fan of, was kept at a reasonable amount here.

And there was a surprising arc throughout with Dante still dealing with the death of his wife Becky (Rosario Dawson) and their unborn daughter from years ago. This was some of my favorite parts of the movie and it showed some real levels of acting from Brian O’Halloran that I do not think we have seen before. The scene with Dante and the spirit of Becky at the graveyard was great and was odd in this film. This was some of the best work done by Kevin Smith.

The third act of this movie was sensational and really changed the tone of the film and it did it in character bits. I will not spoil anything that happened here, but I found it to be an unexpected surprise. As the first part of the movie was funny and enjoyable, but the finale really brought it home in an emotional manner.

Clerks III provided a sufficient and enjoyable way to conclude the Clerks trilogy with an emotional wallop while maintaining the characters from the previous films.

3.6 stars

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