Clerks III/Commis en folie III.(2022)

Clerks- III/Commis-en-folie-III-(2022)
Clerks III/Commis en folie III (2022)

Movie Details

Clerks III/Commis en folie III (2022)
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, and Vincent Pereira
Movie Type: Comedy/Drama
Release date: 13 September 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.2/10
Languages: English and French
Duration: 1h 55m


Clerks III/Commis en folie III.(2022)


It’s been pretty hard to like Kevin Smith the past few years. After he shot the lousy action comedy Cop Out, he got burned in Hollywood and couldn’t deal with the arrogant star, so he got a little bitter and started filming differently. And dare I say, not very well. What he continued to send out into the world was, with a few exceptions, either weird or too “meta” where he referred to himself but could no longer offer the lightness and fun of his old pictures. In addition, he began to thrive as a stand-up “storyteller”, becoming a self-proclaimed spokesperson for movie and comic book fans from all over the world and slowly moving away from what made him one of the most interesting independent creators of the turn of the century.

Clerks III was supposed to be a return to what he once did best. And I’ll admit that I may have believed him rather naively. The second Clerks is his, if not his best, certainly his most mature film, in which he showed that he can be funny, but he is not afraid of more dramatic scenes and can get under the skin of his slacker heroes. As well as the audience. But sixteen long years have passed since the two, and during that time we got a horror movie from Smith about how Justin Long turns into a walrus. So caution was in order.

Clerks III is a return to the roots in the sense that we return to the Quick Stop, where Dante and Randal plus minus fifty. Dante is still as tired and insecure, and Randal is still a badass. And now a beast with a heart attack. However, after returning from the hospital, he decides to completely change his life and make a film. About what he and his partner experienced behind the Quick Stop counter, what they saw and experienced in the store, and the people they knew. So yeah, Smith is filming how he filmed the first Clerks. The circle closed. But maybe that closure wasn’t necessary.

The problem with this return to New Jersey is that it looks like Smith made two movies. And the first one, which takes about fifty minutes, is not very good. Nostalgia does not work at all, the attempt to recall old and now often classic films often misses the mark, and the dialogues are nowhere near as clever and funny as they used to be. Smith seems to know what he wants to offer his audience, but no longer knows how to do it.

The first few tens of minutes are therefore often a director’s and screenwriter’s spasm. The “new” Jay and Silent Bob seem rather awkward, the cameos of old acquaintances or Hollywood stars with whom Smith has become acquainted during his career are slightly forced, and Brian O’Halloran and Jeff Anderson are often pushed here as non-actors into scenes for which they are not enough. Especially the first one sometimes has to play something that he simply does not have, and in the scenes with Rosario Dawson (who is still great even in a small space), he is visibly uncomfortable.

It all starts to look better the moment it starts rolling and when Smith revives old scenes from his debut, often in a slightly different form. The ones that were funny the first time are still funny now, but more importantly, the drama finally starts to work. Old traumas surface that the heroes are suffocating within themselves, Dante and Randall begin to resolve their lifelong friendship, which may not be as strong as they both thought until recently, and Smith unexpectedly pulls it all together in a strong emotional finale reminiscent of the best of his creation. But it’s not enough.

Clerks III will make fans of this unique screenwriter and director more happy than the duo of Jay and Silent Bob. Here, at least Smith manages to tame his ego and make a movie, not a collection of references to other movies connected by a rambling story. On the other hand, it’s not nearly as often as it would take for me to consider myself a satisfied viewer. It’s still very much an ego trip of a director who managed to escape from the snares of big studios and producer supervision, but it didn’t occur to him that he needed someone to direct him a little from time to time. It’s nice to see old acquaintances, hear old stories again, and see where the heroes have moved from number one when they were just in their twenties and number two when they couldn’t run away from adulthood. On the other hand, it is not very nice to watch

As a director and screenwriter, he doesn’t quite have it anymore. But the power of Clerks, their heroes, side characters, New Jersey, stylish soundtrack, and nostalgia is still big enough for a person who likes this group not to break a stick over it. Or maybe he convinced himself that he didn’t want to break her, I still have to get that in my head. In any case, if this was going to be a farewell to the Jersey crew, it certainly could have gone a lot better.

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