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CLERKS III (2022, USA) – 6.5/10

Kevin Smith is one of those American self-taught filmmakers who rose to fame very early. He made, in fact, all his best films in his twenties, and the low-budget comedy “Clerks”, which he made for thirty thousand dollars and starred his friends, became a real underground hit. The continuation of the adventures of two store employees in New Jersey (where Smith actually worked in the early nineties while filming “Merchants”), Dante (Brian O’Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) followed in 2006, and the third act has arrived now .

And unfortunately, “Clerks III” is not even a shadow of the original, nor the other films that Smith made in the nineties (Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma) and I have the impression that after he films a bunch of nonsense, then he seems to remember that he could recycle some from his old topics. And while a kind of reboot of “Clerks” or “Jay and Silent Bob” never sat well with me and I always liked those two petty dealers and idlers embodied by Smith himself and his best friend Jason Mewes worked better when they were episodic characters, the story of merchants it made a lot more sense to me. And the third installment of “Merchants” seems rather nostalgic, especially when we see those characters who were once twenty-something, and now are already in their fifties.

And they practically didn’t move. Dante and Randal are still working in the store, Jay and Silent Bob are still around somewhere dealing weed, and here Smith is making fun of himself and all those characters who in reality resemble these and who are not very old even in serious years matured. But the situation will get serious after Randal has a heart attack and after he survives despite all the negative forecasts, he will decide to make a film about himself in which he and all his friends will star. Of course, the main place of action will be the same store, and what these immature and immature characters will try to film will be a kind of remake of the original “Merchants”, literally frame by frame.

So even though in recent years Smith has been making nonsensical films (come on, the only one I can get past the latter is the thriller “Red State”, which was something completely different from what he had previously made), it is obvious that he has a special touch for “Merchants” . It’s clear that “Clerks III” probably won’t mean much to today’s kids or those who haven’t seen the previous films, but it’s the film with which he rounded off the story quite solidly in the end, and I assume that this is the end of the saga of this team. About the team that glided through life somehow easily, coolly when they were young and carefree, who had their own type of banter, talked about movies, played hockey on the roof of the store, and now they are people in serious years who may not even want to admit it. that time cannot be stopped.