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Clerks III (15)

Cast: Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Smith, Brian O'Halloran
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Kevin Smith
Director: Kevin Smith
Release Date: 16/09/2022 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 100mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

Dante Hicks and Randal Graves work side-by-side at Quick Stop Groceries in New Jersey. During a heated conversation, Randal suffers a heart attack and is rushed into surgery. During his recovery, Randal decides to make his own film based on real-life events at the convenience store, Dante follows doctor's orders and wholeheartedly supports his buddy. As production begins with Randal directing himself, Dante seeks guidance from his girlfriend Becky.


LondonNet Film Review

Clerks III (15) Film Review from LondonNet

Writer-director Kevin Smith gives himself a hearty pat on the back with Clerks III, a self-indulgent stumble down memory lane and the making of the semi-autobiographical 1994 comedy which made his name. Presented in black and white, Clerks was shot on a budget of 27,575 US dollars at the New Jersey convenience store where Smith worked. The third film in the series recreates scenes from the original in lustrous colour while addressing the theme of mortality – a subject close to Smith’s heart after a near-fatal myocardial infarction in 2018. Imitation is the sincerest form of self-flattery…

“I’ve never seen an entire film set in a convenience store!” gushes Randal (Jeff Anderson). “Because who would want to watch that?!” retorts best friend and co-worker Dante (Brian O’Halloran), Smith’s on-screen alter ego. In-jokery is persistent – Clerks III is a love letter, gushingly scrawled by Smith to himself – and the filmmaker uses the end credits as an opportunity to wax lyrical in voiceover as himself about fond memories of the past 28 years and the initial response to his low budget debut. Devoted fans will be in nostalgia-soaked heaven but for the rest of us, the third instalment hits as often as it misses and some heartfelt soul-searching from Dante sits uneasily next to the raucous buffoonery.

Dante Hicks (O’Halloran) and Randal Graves (Anderson) work side-by-side at Quick Stop Groceries, next door to the weed dispensary run by Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith). They are joined by co-worker Elias Grover (Trevor Fehrman), co-founder of the Christian Crypto Club who has his own mute sidekick, Blockchain (Austin Zajur). During a heated conversation, Randal suffers a heart attack and is rushed into surgery. Doctor Ladenhelm (Amy Sedaris) defies the odds to save Randal. “Keep his spirits up,” she advises a relieved Dante.

When Randal decides to make his own film based on real-life events at the convenience store, Dante follows doctor’s orders and wholeheartedly supports his buddy. Dante’s old flame Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti), who features heavily in the 168-page script of In Convenience, dismisses Randal as a “strip mall Soderbergh” but the aspiring auteur prefers to think of himself as “retail’s Richard Linklater”. As production begins with Randal directing himself (“It worked for Orson Welles!”), Dante seeks guidance from his girlfriend Becky (Rosario Dawson).

Clerks III recycles pop culture references and visual gags under the guise of foul-mouthed art masquerading as life. O’Halloran and Anderson reprise their on-screen bromance, the former demonstrating his dramatic range with tear-filled scenes of rage and regret. Auditions for Randal’s masterpiece deliver surprise starry cameos. With this third picture, Smith heads for the checkout with familiar ingredients that are almost out of date but still taste pleasing.

– Jo Planter


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