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'Clerks III' Review: A Funny, Emotional Revisit to the Quick Stop

Courtesy of Lionsgate

Clerks III is the 2022 View Askewniverse film that is a sequel to Clerks and Clerks II, once again directed by Kevin Smith. The film once again stars Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Trevor Fehrman, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Rosario Dawson, and Marilyn Ghigliotti. In Clerks III, Randal has a heart attack and realizes he hasn’t done much with his life, so he decides to make a movie about working at the Quick Stop. The film comes out sixteen years after Clerks II and revisits the events of the previous films.

Before watching Clerks III, it felt like years since Kevin Smith made a good movie. His other films outside of the View Askewniverse weren’t all that good, and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot was kind of meh, so I was nervous going into the film. At the same time, I always believed Kevin Smith is at his best when using the characters from Clerks, so I was also excited. For years, it even felt like Clerks III was never going to happen. Kevin Smith has been open about how his 2018 heart attack inspired Clerks III, and it made the film a personal story for him. It’s safe to say Clerks III is Smith’s best film in over a decade and didn’t disappoint.

What makes the Clerks franchise, in general hilarious and memorable are the characters. Brian O’Halloran as Dante and Jeff Anderson as Randal are both awesome in these roles and gave their best performances as these characters. Both these characters go through a lot in this film and the audience understands why Randal wants to make this movie and what Dante is feeling about everything that is happening. Trevor Fehrman as Elias returns from Clerks II and is hilarious, going through an identity crisis.

Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith are still hilarious as Jay and Silent Bob. Silent Bob has more lines in this film than in the previous films. It’s nice to see Marilyn Ghigliotti return as Veronica after twenty-eight years, and she’s great as well. As for Rosario Dawson as Becky, at first, I was uncertain about how her character was handled, but as the film progressed, it made more sense as to why she was handled this way.

Part of the fun of Clerks III is revisiting the previous films. It’s great to see the characters remember and talk about some of the bizarre things they did. The characters are filming the funniest scenes from the films. They still do some of these bizarre things all these years later. For example, Dante and Randal are still playing hockey on the roof of the Quick Stop. They even reference the alternate ending of Clerks. It’s another example of fan service done right.

The humor is a lot better than in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. While it’s tamer than Clerks II, it feels like it’s gotten back to the classic Kevin Smith roots. At the same time, it’s also the most emotional film in the View Askewniverse. The third act is a lot more emotional than it was expected to be. Part of the emotion is that these characters are no longer in their twenties and thirties and are older, showing their mortality for the first time. It will likely resonate more with older audiences, particularly those who’ve followed this franchise since it first started in 1994.

All in all, Clerks III is Kevin Smith’s best film in years and his most emotional film. The actors give their best performances as these characters. Revisiting the events of the first two films was a lot of fun. It’s a fan service film done right, especially for fans of the View Askewniverse. I was not expecting my most emotional theater experience of 2022 to be Clerks III. If you love Clerks and Clerks II, I highly recommend you check it out. If you are watching it in theaters with Fathom Events, stay after the credits. Kevin Smith and the cast explain how the film was made and show us behind the scenes work. It was fun and interesting to watch.

Final Grade-A-

What did you think of Clerks III? Let us know in the comments down below.

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