Though Clerks II is in color, the acting is just as amateurish and the directing just as awkward as the black-and-white original. Dawson gives the only competent performance, and only Becky and the abused donkey are sympathetic characters.
While it's the sadness of the aging geek that resonates most potently throughout Clerks II, the movie itself is far too glib to let anything that bleak get close enough to the surface to bubble over and stain the counter.
For casual fans of writer-director Kevin Smith, his new film, Clerks II, feels a little like the new Pirates of the Caribbean -- a similar wet fizzle of a sequel for sequel's sake -- but what do we know?
If Clerks II doesn't have quite the scabrous kick of its predecessor, the chance to revisit a classic premise must have renewed the writer in Smith, whose banter here often achieves a sharpness and quality.