Monday, March 23, 2015

Clerks II (2006)

Sequel to Smith's 1994 indie hit has some funny moments but overall feels like a retread of similar, better material from the first film. The problem here is that the moments of shock value never feel shocking enough and lack the edge of the first film, while the comedy too often gets bogged down in moments of mawkish sentimentality that seem to take themselves too seriously. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if both were handled more evenly and skillfully, but as it is, the film veers uncomfortably between attempts at soul-searching seriousness, and juvenile gross-out humor. To boot, the whole thing is overproduced and lacks the lo-fi charm of Smith's debut feature. As a filmmaker, Smith faces the same problem as John Waters -- as his budgets have grown over the years and the films become more slick, they lose some of that sense of urgency and authenticity that made their earlier work so compelling.

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