Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"Viva slack!"

What feels like a black-and-white home movie, shot in the debris district of New Jersey over a weekend with a group of lost boys too grunged out to groove a line, Clerks grows into itself and becomes hysterically negative, like there's nothing in life but porno vids, demanding women and a horrible future of unwashed underpants.

At first, writer/director/actor Kevin Smith's style has a squeezed blackhead naturalism and his chatter is a celebration of political incorrectness. Later, as the characters emerge from the shallows of cut-price lethargy into the fast flow of conversational insult, a genuine life takes hold.

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Dante (Brian O'Halloran) works for a convenience store, while next door his friend Randal (Jeff Anderson) looks after the video shop. They are 22-going-on-200, so jaded they keep themselves awake bitching about their lousy lives. Dante can't be bothered to go to college and make a stab at self improvement, although he's conscientious and ultimately decent. Randal hates customers. He thinks all men are homosexuals and all women pathetic.

The film is a day-in-the-life. Dante has girl trouble. Randall makes waspish comments. Weirdos and obsessives dog their lives. Fetid sleaze is nothing worse than junk culture on the turn, with an end-of-civilisation inevitability about it.

These bozos haven't given up. They never joined in the first place.

Viva slack!

Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2005
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A day in the life of hysterically negative gutter-waged slackers in the debris district of New Jersey.
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Read more Clerks reviews:

Gabriella Trybalska *****

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonhauer, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Scott Mosier, Walter Flanagan, Scott Schiaffo, Al Berkowitz, David Klein

Year: 1994

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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Clerks II