It's almost here. Trailer on Youtube here. Watch. Funny.
If you know me, you'll darn well know that Clerks is one of my favourite movies of all time. Kevin Smith has made several "Jersey Trilogy" movies since (Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), which have all been significantly higher-budget than Clerks was.
(Alright, so your average Russell Oliver Jewelry commercial has a budget bigger than Clerks had, but that's not the point.)
Clerks had something fresh, original and underdog-ish about it: a simple story, told hilariously yet crudely, with witty dialogue aplenty. While Smith's films after Clerks were definitely good-to-great, none of them managed to recapture the essence of the first film. [But really, do you think a big Hollywood studio would OK a movie that had references to old men dying as they masturbate, the perils of being a jizz-mopper at a nudie-booth, or an innocent man being pelted with cigarettes? ("Hey, at least they weren't lit.") I'm guessing no.]
As such, I have expressed great concern over the past several months about the state of Clerks II. "There's no way it could ever get anywhere close to the original," I'd say to friends, strangers, or that guy at Yonge and Bloor who sings about Jesus. "You just can't do that in a movie backed by a big corporation."
The trailer, though, suggests a self-awareness about Clerks II that I'm relieved to see. Kevin Smith has already taken into account the concerns I mentioned above; the idea of rehashing old phrases in a vain way to relive the original film is used as comedic fodder in the trailer. It will be a fine line to walk, however, between "using the original's notoriety for effective comedic value but not overdoing it" and "rehashing all the same old jokes just to make all the original fans laugh but being essentially devoid of new ideas". I'm holding out hope, though, that it's going to be funny and fresh, but yet familiar enough so that it's clear how Dante and Randall have grown in the past 11 years.
I just wish they'd filmed it in black-and-white.