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USA 1995
Directed by
Kevin Smith
91 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars


Kevin Smith's  follow-up to his 1994 indie hit, Clerks, is a rather incongruous affair. Although it preserves the crude humour and slacker ethos of the earlier film it has the stylings of a mainstream '80s comedy such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off (it was filmed almost entirely in Los Angeles and Minnesota).

T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brody (Jason Lee), have been dumped by their girlfriends, Brandi and Renee (Claire Forlani and Shannen Doherty) and to distract themselves from their troubles are hanging around the local mall where Brandi’s sleazy Dad is staging a tacky game show. Hi-jinx ensue.

Whilst Smith once again fires off wise-crackin’, potty-mouthed dialogue, what worked in the setting of a New Jersey convenience store seems out of place in a glossy shopping mall even if it does serve as essentially a teen hang-out. Smith does grunge well but the mall, the cathedral of consumer culture is John Hughes territory and entirely the wrong setting for the writer-director’s provocative sensibility. Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) make a return appearance and provide the film’s comic highlights but overall Mallrats is ill-conceived and never amounts to more than the ho-hum.




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