Clerks 3: A Review!

A few years ago I was with some friends and one of them was saying how funny he thought Andrew Dice Clay was when he was in college and how he re-watched one of his old sets and didn’t think it was funny. He said, “I don’t think his comedy held up over the years.”

I responded, “Dice never did much ‘comedy’ even back in the day. You were just an idiot back then.”

He laughed uncomfortably and tried to defend his taste in comedy and movies from when he was in his 20s to what it is now. He asked, “Do you think the comedians and movies you liked in your 20s…you’d still like today?”

I answered yes to that. And a perfect example is Clerks. I was 25 when it came out and was blown away at the seemingly low-budget indie film, could be funnier than what the studios were giving us that year (1994). They spent big budgets on comedies that were sequels – City Slickers II, Major League II, Mighty Ducks: D2, Beverly Hills Cop III, Revenge of the Nerds IV, Ski School II (who knew there was a first Ski School?), Ernest Goes to School, and Naked Gun 33 ⅓ (which was actually funny). I would have never guessed back then they’d be making multiple Clerks films, but I liked the second one (as well as the Jay and Silent Bob picture) so I was looking forward to this.

So while I haven’t seen the original Clerks since it was in theatres, I have no doubt it would hold up. Yet watching these same cast of characters, making d**k jokes and acting goofy – didn’t work. I was watching Kevin Smith’s facial expressions as Silent Bob, and getting annoyed.

It didn’t occur to me until my wife pointed out that, with Smith having a heart attack, he probably felt writing a story about the cashier having a heart attack, would be his way of telling a story he wants to tell. I’m down with that, but when I’m watching a guy joke about the male nurse shaving him (Justin Long) before surgery, and his buddy Dante (Brian O’Halloran) is standing next to him, and…it’s 20 minutes in and not a single line has made my wife and I laugh – I knew we were in trouble. And since I’m a huge fan of Amy Sedaris (and her brother David), just hearing her voice as the doctor almost made me laugh. She just didn’t really have lines that were that funny. Perhaps Smith could have let her write some.

When Randal (Jeff Anderson) survives the heart attack and decides to make a movie about his life in the Quick Stop convenient store, I wondered…didn’t Smith cover this ground in the disappointing Zack and Miri Make a Porno (Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks)?

I didn’t think I’d ever see a time when Jay (Jason Mewes) couldn’t make me laugh by just anything spewing out of his mouth. His voice is just funny. It’s like Charlie Day. You can laugh at anything they say. Yet this time, I wasn’t. Now, it’s a slightly cute visual gag, to see they’re still selling pot, right out front of a CBD store, but we need more than that. 

So, the humor doesn’t work and when there are moments that are supposed to be emotional, those don’t really work either. None of this feels genuine. 

There are bits with a couple born-again Christians, which is always low-hanging fruit. Even when one switched teams and decides to sell his soul to Satan…it just doesn’t work.

Now, let’s hope Kevin Smith doesn’t make a Jersey Girl II. Just because Ben and Jennifer are back together in real life, we don’t need a sequel to that or Gigli 2 – Electric Boogaloo.

1 star out of 5.

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