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BOOK
Clerks II
The Screenplay

Author: Kevin Smith
Titan Books
RRP: 9.99, US $12.95
ISBN-13: 978 1 8457 6407 4
ISBN-10: 1 84576 407 2
Available 22 September 2006


With no power comes no responsibility. At last, the long awaited follow-up to Kevin Smith's ultimate ode to slackerdom,
Clerks, has arrived: Clerks II. Ten years later, Dante and Randall are pretty much right where we left them, until disaster strikes at the Quick Stop and they are forced to seek alternative employment. Now they're serving stinging one-liners and bad attitudes alongside burgers and fries. In his thirties, Dante looks to mature into adulthood but can he do that and still remain true to his own hetero life-mate Randall...?

Twelve years ago, Kevin Smith sold his comic book collection and enlisted his friends to make a $27,000 cinematic ode to a generation of overqualified, underemployed slackers. An instant indie hit, Clerks reaped over one hundred times its budget at the US box office alone.

The movie followed a day in the life of store clerks Dante and Randal, suffering the attentions of a string of dumb customers while engaging in wry, crackling dialogue on every subject under the sun except work and responsibility.

The sequel was, in the opinion of this and other reviewers, an unsuccessful attempt to move the story on ten years. In Clerks 2, we find Dante and Randal now working in a fast food store after the convenience store burned down. But we sorely miss the interaction with customers which punctuated and drove the first movie, while the romance/responsibility plot is embarrassing, and the denouement crass.

Fortunately, buried in this self-contratulatory fest - Smith's big-time Hollywood mates make predictable cameo appearances - there is some scintillating dialogue which recalls the best exchanges of the first movie, and this full screenplay gives the reader the opportunity to find these gems amongst the dross.

Highlights include Randal's passionate defence of the original Star Wars trilogy against an equally fanatical Lord of the Rings customer ('Just three guys walking to a volcano!'), and some pretty close to the knuckle exchanges on the racist connotations of "Porch Monkey" (black customer to outraged wife refusing to take Randal's burger: "Baby, you can't taste racism").

The book is well presented, with a 16-page colour centre section featuring screen shots from the movie and promo posters. All in all good value for money.

Andy Thomas

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