Heartfelt 'Clerks III': 'Too Old for This Shift'

via Lionsgate

Clerks III is about as funny as a heart attack. Director Kevin Smith suffered one in 2018 and writes about it in the second Clerks sequel.

Smith's first movie in 1994, Clerks depicts a couple of white New Jersey guys who own a convenience store and a video store. Randal (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O’Halloran) run the stores as Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) sell weed outside. Twelve years later, in Clerks II, Randal and Dante take jobs at the fast-food restarant Mooby's. Clerks III returns to the original convenience store.

Anderson and O’Halloran reprise their familiar roles as do Mewes and Smith. Now almost 30 years later, Randal and Dante's questionable lifestyles and diets catch up with them and in rapid succession both are felled by heart attacks. Randall has the first one. While in the hospital he has an epiphany: to make a movie about his nearly shortened life.

He recruits best bud Dante to be his producer. This sets off a series of auditions and shoots, all in black in white. But during the making of the movie, they have a falling out.

Dante's ex-girlfiend, Becky (Rosario Dawson) comes back from the dead to advise him. Amy Sedaris and Justin Long play the doctor and "shaving nurse." Trevor Fehrman and Austin Zajur team up as Elias and the mute Blockchain Coltrane; every scene the duo's in their costumes and make-up are increasingly more outrageous. Ben Affleck, Fred Armisen, Danny Trijo, Donnell Rawlings and Freddie Prinze Jr. all make cameos as auditioners.

Jay and Silent Bob light it up in "Clerks III." (Image via Lionsgate)

Jay and Silent Bob still sling weed and in one scene roll up a massive joint (above). But Jay regresses from the newfound maturity of his character in 2019's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Between Mewes, Anderson and O'Hallaron, the acting is generally sub-par.

People who've gone through heart attacks and coronary issues will relate to the storyline. It's played for laughs, but is as earnest as the movie's many offbeat pop culture riffs. Even Seth Rogen, who's in Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Pornogets name checked. 

With back to back sequels, Smith appears to be running low on fresh ideas, but after surviving a heart attack, as Randal does in Clerks III, he couldn't give a shift.

Note: Clerks III is not yet available for rental. This reviewer watched it on a plane.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.