Here’s the 3rd and final part of my Kevin Smith Retrospective. I’ll just cut to the chase. Here are links to Part I and Part II in case you missed them. Enjoy and follow the blog on Facebook and Twitter, if you haven’t already.
Clerks II is my favorite Kevin Smith movie. Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson fall right back into the roles of Dante and Randal. Franchise newcomers Trevor Fehrman and Rosario Dawson fit into the universe very well.
Putting the clerks behind the fast food counter at Moobys was a nice change up. The characters are just as vulgar and unhappy as ever, even if they don’t want to admit it.
Where Clerks succeeded as a snapshot of the quarter life crisis, Clerks II nails the (not so) complacent 30s. The movie is set on Dante’s last day flipping burgers. He’s engaged and moving to Florida where everything he thinks he wants is waiting for him. Complicating his plans are Randal (mourning the loss of the Quickstop and his best friend) and Dante’s manager Becky (with whom he has a complicated relationship).
It’s a really fun movie with the perfect balance of hilarity and sincerity that we’ve come to expect from Smith. Not to mention, it has what is probably my second favorite line from any of Kevin Smith’s movies: “And even Anne fucking Frank could see she’s nuts about him too.”
Also, the Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings scene really makes me eager to see if and how he addresses The Hobbit movies and Disney’s Star Wars movies in Clerks III.
Every line Justin Long says in his very small role in Zack and Miri is counted as my favorite Kevin Smith line. He’s hysterical in it.
Cameos aside, Zack and Miri is a really good movie. Zack and Miri are platonic friends on hard times. To raise money to get their utilities turned back on, they decide to make a porn movie. It’s a straight forward story that becomes a touching story of lifelong friends uncovering their love for each other.
Zack and Miri has a great supporting cast made up of Jason Mewes (not as Jay but as aspiring porn actor Lester), Craig Robinson, Jeff Anderson and others. And basing the filming of the porn on the making of Clerks gives the movie a really nice personal touch. It’s a great movie outside of the View Askewniverse.
Red State is unlike anything Kevin Smith has ever done. It’s a shocking horror movie indictment of infamous religious hate group the Westboro Baptist Church. The movie follows three teenagers seeking a night of wild sex but become the victims of religious fanatics.
The movie evolves into a messy and violent hostage situation that just keeps escalating and features a very impressive cast. Michael Parks, in particular, gives a chilling performance as the head of the religious hate group.
The movie isn’t perfect though. You can tell Smith is a bit out of his element though. The pacing is top notch and the violence is raw and shocking, but the script seemed like it was missing something. Smith wrote it as a straight horror movie and didn’t give the audience much in terms of character development for the three teenagers.
Regardless, the movie is much better than I expected it to be the first time I saw it and it held up well to this second viewing. Smith brings a level of intensity that never really lets up.
That’s it for my Kevin Smith Retrospective. It was a lot of fun rewatching his movies. I would like to personally thank Kevin Smith for creating some really fun and highly rewatchable movies and also for the Rosario Dawson roof dance sequence in Clerks II.
How do you feel about Kevin Smith? What are your expectations for Clerks III and Hit Somebody? Leave a comment and let me know.