Clerks II ****
"Clerks II" is Kevin Smith's return ot form after the disaster that was "Jersey Girl." Ok, I didn't hate that one, but it was a few steps down from some of his comedy masterpieces. It's something a little different from the first "Clerks," but that doesn't mean that its worse. "Clerks" has an interesting history behind it. It was so low-budget, that the soundtrack for the film cost more money than actually shooting it. And it was a simple story. Just two convience store clerks spending a day in there New Jersey store. They have conversations about things that we might declare pointless. For example, there's a classic monolouge in the first that involves a new spin on the ending of "Return of the Jedi," talking about the innocent construction workers that were killed as they built the Death Star.
Only now, the two clerks Dante and Randall are in their thirties, and are still working at the convience store, Quick Stop, and the RST Video Store right next door. Only, sadly, Dante comes to work one day to see that the store is on fire, because Randall left the coffee pot on. . . again. Now, they work at Mooby's, a fast food restaurant that looks like Disney opened a fast food place. And it's also Dante's last day at work, before he moves to Florida in preparation to getting married to Emma. But, Dante might have a little secret under his belt, involving the boss and his friend Becky, who ended up spending a night together in the kitchen after work. There's also Elias, the biggest nerd in the universe who only cares about three things-Jesus, the Transformers, and the Lord of the Rings. He also thinks that there is a little gnome inside of his girlfriends vagina known as Pillow Pants, which prevents any premartial sex until she is twenty-one, when it is urinated out. Randall decides to spend the day trying to plan the biggest going away party for his best friend, which he decides will be great in the form of a donkey show, preformed by Kinky Kelly, while Dante has to make some last minute choices of his own, on what should be his last day at work-and then he'll never have to be there again. Oh, and who can forget abnout Jay and Silent Bob, the two dealers that work in front of the store-only they don't take anything anymore after a stint in rehab, and finding Jesus.
The "Clerks" films are not plot driven, but they are dialouge and character driven. There are long five minute scenes where the characters simply talk about a certain topic, having debates and fights. There is what will be a classic scene involving Randall and Elias, and some nerd customer, fighting over what the better movie is-"Return of the King" or "Return of the Jedi." And it's quite ironic how a movie that involves a guy doing a donkey, and conversation on if "Porch-Monkey" is a racial slur or not could have so much heart. At the heart of "Clerks II," there is the message that friendship can overide anything. We may have only spent two days in the lives of Dante and Randall, but they have spent fifteen years with one another. This may be one of the sweetest movies that have come out in recent memory. It's the perfect sequel to a perfect movie. It's hilarious, heartfelt, and surely one of the year's best. It's ending will have you smiling for hours afterwards. And like all sequels, see the first one first. You'll appriciate it much more, and this is surely a film to appriciate.