Clerks III brings a heartfelt conclusion to the friendship of Dante and Randall

by Gordon Shelly

Even though the title is Clerks III, it is difficult to call this a trilogy. The Kevin Smith universe continually pulls in the same characters, so the viewers feel an extensive familiarity with many of these characters beyond these three films.

This is the story of the stories we’ve already been told. Randal (Jeff Anderson) experiences a heart attack which he survives.  After which he decides to tell the story of his life with Dante (Brian O’Halloran) at his side, and his experiences as a lifelong clerk.

The bulk of the movie then becomes the fictional tale (which feels like it is probably infused with a high degree of non-fiction) of the making of the previous two movies, in particular, the original Clerks.

The core of the story, as always, is the friendship of Randal and Dante, with its expected conflicts and the always present resolution of how much these two friends truly mean to one another.

While billed as a comedy, this movie is not that funny. Instead, Kevin Smith is showing his age and his own brushes with mortality as he asks big questions about love, friendship, the hereafter, and the legacies we leave.

In fact, the movie focuses so much on the drama, that when the crude humor of Clerks II sneaks in, it falls (mostly) flat and seems forced and out of place.

Nevertheless, Clerks III tells a meaningful story, tugs heavily at the heartstrings, and brings inarguable closure to this portion of the Kevin Smith Universe of characters.

Gordon’s Grade: B