Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mallrats (1995)

Coming between the sharp, funny CLERKS and the insightful, more mature CHASING AMY, MALLRATS perhaps can't help but seem like the weak link in comparison. Its loose, sprawling structure is undermined by the imposed plotline centering around a gameshow being taped at the local mall, which T.S. (Jeremy London) must hijack in order to win back the love of his life. His slacker, comic-book obsessed friend Brodie (Jason Lee) is also trying to salvage a failed relationship, so the two buddies head to the mall to put their plan into action. Along the way, they get involved in a series of crazy comic hijinks (many involving the duo of Jay and Silent Bob), T.S. gets some life-changing advice from a nude fortune-teller, and Brodie too receives some sage wisdom from comic book legend Stan Lee.

The trademark Smith dialogue is still there, but it's sprinkled between broad, cartoonish slapstick sequences, and the film is at its best when it focuses on its characters, their relationships, and deep musings on such topics as comic books and video games. Overall, though, those moments feel like re-treads of superior ones in CLERKS, and the plot becomes simply too clich├ęd and predictable to warrant the amount of time spent on it.

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