Twelve years after the original, Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are still clerks--at fast food joint Mooby's because the Quick Stop burned down--and now they're in color. But Dante is about to get hitched and leave behind his hometown, his best friend and his secret love, Mooby's manager Becky (Rosario Dawson).
Big question: Can writer-director Kevin Smith reclaim the articulate, tasteless humor he discarded for "Jersey Girl"?
Catch it: Most of "Clerks II" feels like Smith rediscovering his perverted youth, putting less effort into the story than he does towards his fondness for geek culture and dirty jokes. Yet there's a comfort with which Smith returns to the form and crafts an endearing story of unglamorous guys realizing sometimes life is better in black and white.
Skip it: If you don't even want to think about what happens after a guy like Randal forks over $100 and a man shows up with a donkey.
Bottom line: Anderson is the movie's centerpiece, delivering all the best lines and finding depth in Randal's contentment with a minimum-wage lifestyle. Taken literally, "Clerks 2" is simply plotted and doesn't look like much; as a metaphor for Smith's return behind the counter after his brief "Jersey Girl" fling with commercialism, it's another raunchily funny, mildly sad and brutally candid purging of his demons and dreams.
Bonus: Can't get enough meat? Go to Mooby's for the Cow Tipper, four burgers stacked on top of each other. Heart attack included at no extra charge.
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Written, directed and edited by Kevin Smith; cinematography by David Klein; production design by Robert Holtzman; music by James L. Venable; produced by Scott Mosier. A Metro Goldwyn Mayer release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:38. MPAA rating: R (for pervasive sexual and crude content including aberrant sexuality, strong language and some drug material).
Dante - Brian O'Halloran
Randal - Jeff Anderson
Becky - Rosario Dawson
Jay - Jason Mewes
Silent Bob - Kevin SmithCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times