While Clerks II feels like Randalll’s take on his life’s saga, Clerks III is more like Dante’s vision of the franchise. And what I mean by that is that. perhaps, Kevin Smith’s approach to his latest installment is a more realistic and, admittedly, genuine realization that his lead characters have much to face reality, given their life’s circumstances. Now, I know this might be a more dour take for fans to stomach, but given the experiences that the filmmaker is touching upon, it makes perfect sense.

In 2018, Smith suffered a heart attack, which gave him much perspective on his life and career, and which obviously inspired the events of this movie. In Clerks III, his character Randall Graves (Jeff Anderson), while working as the co-owner of the Quick Stop experiences the same type of heart attack that the filmmaker endured after one of his comedy shows. This situation obviously gave the director some perspective on life and has affected his style of filmmaking. In watching and enjoying his latest movie, I see some parallels with Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 sequel, but with Smith’s signature style.

Since we last left off, Randall Graves and Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) have owned their beloved businesses of the Quick Stop and the adjacent RST Video. Obviously, and sadly, since the video store has no place in our modern world, it is now the home of a cannabis dispensary, appropriately run by Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith ) While things are going as smoothly as they possibly can, Randall has a heart attack, while on the job. His initial reaction is to realize that he should document his life experiences in a movie that mimics that of Smith’s first independent film Clerks.

Going into this movie, I absolutely loved the premise. And at the end of it all, I enjoyed the territory that Smith covered. While. the humor is not quite at the same level of raunchiness that his other movies dared to tread, I feel that this movie is his most personal take on his life and the experiences that launched his career into the world of cinema. While this movie doesn’t exactly tread upon new territory, I feel that the die-hard fans will appreciate what Smith is trying to convey.

When I say that Smith is making a movie that is more like the type of movie Dante would appreciate, I say that his film deals with the reality of the unexpected moments of life and death. At the same time, the movie has its funny moments. and does have its moments that feel redundant from the franchise. However, I believe that all of these “tone poems” are indications of Smith’s inspirations from the Star Wars saga. The way Smith utilizes the deaths of beloved characters, and how their spirits motivate the surviving characters, is exactly what I mean.

That is not to say that this movie ends on a concluding level. I can definitely see another installment in the Clerks universe, offering audience a more satisfying conclusion. Clerks III is not Kevin Smith’s Return of the Jedi, but perhaps is his attempt at an Empire Strikes Back. While he doesn’t completely succeed, I would love to see him stick the landing with one more installment.

Leave a comment