After Randal's own medical emergency, Kevin Smith brought us Clerks II. The film will follow Randal (Jeff Anderson) and Dante (Brian O'Halloran) as they prepare to write a sequel.
The usual Kevin Smith-style raunchy, pop culture humor and deeper personal drama runs throughout the film. The surprise that awaits viewers eager to see Clerks III is how dramatic things get. Walking away from this movie, it feels like Kevin Smith has come to an end.
Danielle Ryan of SlashFilm rates the film 8 out of 10, stating that this is Kevin Smith at his most personal. While there are plenty of laughs to be had, this critic believes the audience might shed a few tears during this one:
Fans who want the mile-a-minute crass comedy of some of Smith's earlier works, such as the first Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, might be disappointed by this deeply heartfelt dramedy that deals with some difficult issues, but Clerks III is one of the finest.
Matt Donato of IGN claims that the good far outweighs the bad in this film, which combines the usual crude humor with the thoughts of a father and husband who have confronted their own morality.
Kevin Smith's trademark bong-rip wit is extended by Clerks III, which is a moving ode to working-class nobodies that elevates him above Randal's not-so-passiveness or Jay's lit-for-days attitude. It's a semi-departure that suggests that Smith's writing/director is still interested in Clerks III in 36 more ways than expected.
Hope Madden of Maddwolf rates the film 3 out of 5, implying that the whole film is an inside joke, but one that will enthuse those who are on the inside:
Smith delivers a surprising assortment of amateurish moments, inspired soundtrack choices (thats the first time I ever enjoyed My Chemical Romances Welcome to the Black Parade), sentiment, callbacks, and genuine fondness at the end of the filmmakers' slacker trilogy.
Kevin Smith's latest effort isn't generally supportive. After Randals' heart attack, Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle finds little to care about, noting that even the usual sharp dialogue is lacking.
The banter, which is often Smith's forte, is wacky and tiresome, mostly obsessive conversations about minor characters in Star Wars and other genres of pop culture. It's probably not Smith's intention, but we end up feeling sorry for the characters, that they inhabit such a small mental landscape. The audience is never made to care whether or not Randals' film ever is made. It's unconcerned that we should care.