Not naked but they're lazyClerks II is Clerks ten years later. The plot is that in the interim period our two Clerks have moved on to working in a Burger restaurant when their convenience store burned down. The usual scatological and barely cogent pratfalls take place, with the end to our now thirty something heroes taking control of their lives, buying the convenience store and reopening it. Its all about reclaiming lost glories even if those glories are not very good.

Only an idiot (which this films characters on the whole are) would not spot the subtext regarding Kevin Smith’s career. Over-achieved and failed, so go back to what you know best. That said it is probably a nice thing to do for the two stars Jeff Anderson and Brian O’Halloran – check out their IMDB profiles linked to see where they’ve been getting most of their work over the last ten years. But overly sentimental, stabs at recapturing lost glories do not make for overly entertaining experiences, and Clerks II constantly references it predecessor which may not have been better, but was original. Jay and Silent Bob have now been in five films, which is probably stretching this joke just a bit too thin. Basically this is a film where the new characters (played by Rosario Dawson and Trevor Fehrman) outclass and interest more than the old – which says something both about how Smith views his characters and the quality of the actors.

For a film so embedded in the minutiae of pop culture, it was a calculated stab at bringing home some bacon after huge flop of Jersey Girl. Ben Affleck rocks up here again (another regular) and looks a little bit embarrassed at his cameo, as if to say “you ruined my career and you know what, I’ve outgrown this schtick”. Much more interesting is the cameo by Jason Lee – hot off of sitcom success he just has timing that the rest of this cast can’t muster. Indeed with all the minor TV and film actor cameos it resembles more of a seventies ensemble comedy, something like Car Wash. Throw in the 1980’s Teen movie pointless dance sequence (where Rosario Dawson really shows she is slumming it), a bizarre movie of the week pregnancy subplot and all you are left with is the Donkey Fucking. Which you could see better analogs of in the Dirty Sanchez or Jackass movies. It passes the time, but it points out that time has passed. The slackers of youth are less fun in their thirties, and the emotional blackmail this film throws on its audience is, for me, unacceptable. I liked Clerks because it showed promise. Clerks II finally admits that this promise will never be delivered.