[Nightmarish Detour Review] CLERKS III

[Nightmarish Detour Review] CLERKS III
CLERKS III l Lionsgate
I remember when I found the joy that is Kevin Smith movies. I wasn’t lucky enough to come across Clerks or Mallrats or Chasing Amy. The first Kevin Smith I saw was Dogma and that was all it took. From that moment on, I watched every movie he made. I would quote Jay and Silent Bob on a regular basis and I even sent the image of Jay with his tackle tucked acting like Buffalo Bill to everyone in my phone contacts to say “Happy New Year.” Needless to say, I’m a fan. One of my personal favorites is Clerks II. I have seen that movie an ungodly number of times, so you best believe when CLERKS III was announced, I was beyond excited. Little did I know there was a movie that could make me laugh until I cried while breaking my heart.

While I don’t think you need to watch Clerks in order to appreciate Clerks II, you HAVE to watch both films to appreciate CLERKS III. You will not get the emotional depth of this film without seeing them all. At the end of Clerks II, we see Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randall (Jeff Anderson) buying the Quick Stop and taking control of their own destinies. No longer will they be manning a counter for the man. Nay, nay. They wanted to man a counter for themselves. Dante has a baby with Becky (Rosario Dawson), and Dante and Randall own their own business with Jay (Jason Mewes), and Silent Bob (Smith) taking over the video store. It was a perfect ending.

CLERKS III picks up with Dante and Randall at almost 50 years old. Jay and Silent Bob are still managing the video store except now it’s a head shop. Elias (Trevor Fehrman) has moved on from Mooby’s and has taken up cryptocurrency. When Randall suddenly suffers from a massive heart attack, the gang all rethink where their lives have gone. Meanwhile, Randall decides to make a movie about his life, documenting all of the highs and lows that have occurred behind the counters.

There are so many familiar faces in this movie. Everyone who was important in the Clerks universe is back and it’s incredible. There are even appearances from Kevin Smith’s real-life friends who run his comic shop in New Jersey. My personal favorite in the film is Elias. We saw him as a hardcore Christian in Clerks II but Randall’s near miss makes him question his faith to hilarious consequences.

Brian O’Halloran as Dante and Rosario Dawson as Becky l Courtesy Lionsgate

CLERKS III is nothing like what I expected. I went into this film with a Clerks II, Tusk, Yoga Hosers expectation. I was waiting for over-the-top silly and sure, Smith does provide that. Kevin pulls from his own experience of nearly dying from a heart attack to move this story and you can really feel it in this one. I don’t say this lightly: this film broke me. If you are a fan of the previous Clerks film, this will break you, too.

Whether it was from laughing or crying, I had tears in my eyes the entire time. I want to tell you everything. I want to share why it felt like Kevin Smith ripped my heart out from my chest, but I can’t do that to you. You truly have to experience CLERKS III for yourselves. If I were to give you any more information than I have, you would miss out on the emotional roller coaster that I found myself on. This is Kevin Smith’s greatest work. Of all the amazing things he has created in the past (the good, the bad, and the too much) this is his masterpiece. This is the perfect culmination of the world that he created.

Since 1994, we got a front show seat to Dante’s and Randall’s lives. We got to see them deal with funerals, an existential crisis, unexpected pregnancies, fires, and a donkey show. The audience has been there through it all and in CLERKS III, we get to see how it all turns out.

If I could give Kevin Smith a standing ovation via an internet article, I would. I would stand there for 10 minutes straight, clapping until my arms were tired and my hands stung because it was deserved. If you are a fan of Kevin’s or of the Clerks films, see this movie. See it and laugh and cry and then share it with someone else. If you aren’t a Clerks fan yet, then pop that old black and white film in and open up your world. I assure you, we’ll be there for you with a hug at the end of it all.

Lionsgate, in partnership with Fathom Events, will be releasing CLERKS III exclusively in theaters on September 13th and 15th.

Nightmarish Detour

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