Saturday, October 16, 2010
From the Vault: Mallrats
With Mallrats, Kevin Smith presents the second part of his so-called Jersey trilogy that began with Clerks. Unfortunately, his second feature fails to hit the same comic heights and suffers from a tacked-on plot.
Mallrats, which includes two minor characters from Clerks (Jay played by Jason Mewes and Silent Bob played by Smith himself), focuses on two friends who hope to get over being dumped by their girlfriends by spending the day wandering at the mall.
The two young men are T.S. (Jeremy London), a college student despised by his girlfriend's father, a would-be game show producer (Michael Rooker); and Brodie (Jason Lee), a comic book fanatic who doesn't pay enough attention his significant other Rene (Shannen Doherty).
Mallrats' main problem stems from the slight excuse for a plot it offers and the actors' delivery seems really forced, especially in contrast with the smooth naturalism of Clerks.
In fact, some of the dialogue flies at such a high speed as to be nearly incomprehensible. What works best about Mallrats are its comic book underpinnings, which lead to a funny cameo by the legendary Stan Lee, and some wacky bits involving Jay and Silent Bob, though they were still funnier in their minimalist roots in Clerks.
Mallrats also suffers from being too self-conscious, which provides for some amusing in-jokes but more often that not just end up being intrusive.