Clerks II

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PARTY ANIMALS Jason Mewes, left, and Smith toot their own horns.
PARTY ANIMALS Jason Mewes, left, and Smith toot their own horns.

Time Out says

Twelve years can seem like an eternity when you’re stuck in the same old groove. That’s how long it’s been since we last saw Dante (O’Halloran) and Randal (Anderson), the Clerks duo who gave a foulmouthed voice to the frustrated minimum-wage stiff. That was also when the world met their creator, who turned a lo-fi comedy into a career of exponentially diminishing returns. After watching Kevin Smith recycle the same old sniggering juvenilia or, worse, make feeble attempts at emotional sincerity time and again, that initial spark of enthusiasm gave way to a weary fatigue. But perhaps a return to the territory of that first big bang might recapture the moment, right?

The twosome may have switched from counter jockeys to fast-food workers, but nothing else has changed: Jobs still suck, O’Halloran still can’t act, Smith continues to think “shocking” dialogue about analingus or arguments about Star Wars are ain’t-I-a-stinker cute, and all attempts at maturity and profundity are DOA. For die-hard fans who treat the filmmaker’s every askew utterance as gospel, this sequel will feel like the New Testament; for the rest of us, that sound you hear is the final nail being driven into the coffin. Now that you’ve come full circle, Mr. Smith, can you please call it a day? (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — David Fear

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