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Clerks III (Film Review)

3 min read


films have a reputation for being crude, a little juvenile and full of dick jokes. And whilst is absolutely no exception to this, having its fair share of dick jokes, there's a whole lot more to it. And the fact that the film is inspired by true events in Smith's life makes III all the more impactful and Kevin Smith's most moving film to date.

On 25th February 2018, whilst performing a show in California, Smith suffered a heart attack known as a ‘widowmaker' because 80% of the time the patient dies. Smith ended up pulling through and surviving the heart attack, and now he's bringing this experience to the screen through everyone's favourite convenience store clerks Dante and Randal.

Dante and Randal, along with Elias are all now back working at the – with still hanging out next door- when suddenly Randal has a massive heart attack known as the widowmaker and is told only 20% of patients survive. As a result, Randal decides to make a movie immortalising his life at the convenience store to recapture all the best moments of his life.


And that's exactly what Smith does with Clerks III. The film isn't going to win over anybody that doesn't like Kevin Smith's style of humour, and it's not a good starting point for those uninitiated into the films of Smith but for the fans, this is exactly what they're after.

There are tons of call-backs to the previous two Clerks films. But he does them with so much heart and emotion. The film opens with all the usual suspects including gum on the padlocks and a game of hockey on the roof and it does get to a point in the film where you wonder is there any more to it than reminiscing on Smith's former glory.

However, by the time the ending pulls around you realise that this is a deeply personal film to Smith and he's not just reliving the glory days. All the call backs to previous films, and hearing all the same jokes we've heard before, along with footage from Clerks interspersed here and there only serves to remind us what this franchise is really about.


All three films have been teaching us that it's not about what we're doing in life but it's the people we surround ourselves with that make life worth living and Clerks III really gets back to this, hammering it in. Smith has expertly crafted a fitting end for these characters.

It's a Kevin Smith film so of course there are cameos and despite being busy in a galaxy far far away, 's Becky returns briefly which only helps fuel Brian O'Halloran and 's fantastic performances even further. O'Halloran, Anderson and Smith have found the perfect conclusion to the Clerks trilogy.

Whilst not quite as funny as some of the previous instalments in the View Askewniverse, Clerks III really earns its merit in the drama and the emotion. It reminds us of how important friendship is, and how important cinema is. Both friendship and cinema can change lives and Smith shows us this wonderfully in Clerks III.

As is the case with all of Kevin Smith's films, Clerks III is a film made by movie lovers for movie lovers. All the pop culture references and quotes make it a joy to watch with Clerks III being a love letter to filmmaking.

Clerks III is in UK cinemas 16 September 2022.