In Clerks 2, Director Kevin Smith resumed the lives of two convenience store workers from his 1994 film Clerks. Smith's movies traditionally appear vulgar and devoid of cinematic integrity upon first glimpse. On closer inspection the viewer can derive complex character development and thematic concepts worthy of much more respect than is given by critics.
The sequel opens with a blaze. The Quickstop is burnt nearly to the grown. The Quickstop was a symbol of security for the main characters. Dante and Randal had worked there for over a decade. This is a humbling experience. Fire is one of the elements of life that can become uncontrollable by humans. Vulnerability to fire has been both a gift and a hazard to humanity. The camera zooms out and the black and white picture gains color.
When Randal asks Dante if he misses the Quickstop, Dante responds by saying that the Lord smited that hellhole. The camerawork is clear to show that Randal misses his old line of work, and what it represented. The guys are never outright with their feelings. They prefer to hide their emotions through clever subject change or shift of topics.
[...] Emma comes from a wealthy background that is offering Dante a ticket out of New Jersey to a “better life” in Florida with a new house and job. This passive personality will again lead to the climax of the movie later on. While Randal tries not to let it rattle him, the pending absence of his best friend shows through his actions. The two had been side by side for their whole lives. Once the workday begins it is time for the men to earn their keep, sort of. [...]
[...] The cops show up shortly after and the remaining people at the party are arrested. The jail cell becomes the scene of the movie's resolution. Often times when men will not resort to reason until they feel trapped into doing so. The potential absence of best friend Dante has left Randal disoriented and lost. The stage was set for the most sentimental scene in the movie. Randal unloads all of his anguish that Dante is leaving him. His best and only true friend who he has spent his entire life with is leaving. [...]
[...] One day a former high school classmate turned multi-millionaire comes walking through the doors of the restaurant and bashes the clerks for wasting their lives. The customer throws out a series of callous comments before leaving without any food saying that “some things never change”. Clearly the things that were said upset Randal enough that he stormed out of the store demanding Dante's car keys. The two friends then traveled to a nearby amusement park to ride the bumper cars. [...]
[...] Jay and Silent Bob have enough money to lend to the clerks, as long as they can hang out in front of the store like the old days. Randal and Dante take out a loan and reopen the stores. They work together to restore it to a better shape than it originally stood. Dante had made a choice to stick with his responsibilities and his future child. He proposes to Becky and she accepts. He stops trying to run to an illusion of what a better life should look like. [...]
[...] He doesn't stand up for himself and can barely manage to flip burgers. He is a soft-spoken, bible camp attending, Lord of the Rings loving nerd. Elias carries a Christian influence throughout the film. Randal and Elias butt heads continuously through the film. Randal insists on bullying the weak and Elias is no exception. Survival of the fittest is evident when Randal pushes off his tasks, criticisms, and anxiety onto the nineteen year old transformers fan. There is a sharp contrast in defining a youthful male character that Elias is at nineteen versus Dante and Randall when they were in the first film at age twenty-three. [...]
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