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All Critics (43)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (19)
| DVD (17)
Mallrats mixes clever bits and an appealing quirkiness (which goes a long way) with gross-out practical jokes, needless repetition and obvious padding, since it has no real plot.
If the Sundance Institute or the AFI ever offers a course advising directors of successful first films what to avoid the second time around, Mallrats could be at the heart of the curriculum.
Smith has slicked up his follow-up vision of Slackerville USA, but the outcome is nowhere near as brash and original.
Between the routines and retorts, there's a lot of narrative dead air -- and far too many new guests.
The fatal flaw in plotting the material is that we don't care.
Despite a broad range of effective comedy and a decent laugh-per-minute ratio, Mallrats is likely to be a moderate disappointment for anyone who guffawed their way through the previous film.
Smith manages to successfully subsume his slackers feel into a more cartoony aesthetic. And the mall ode-cum-satire, like with Clerks' convenience store, is brilliantly done.
Retains enough Smith-isms to help navigate all potholes in execution. Flawed, yes, but Mallrats has its charms when it isn't shoving its hand up its own hindquarters.
Typical Kevin Smith fare; not suitable for kids.
Almost everyone has lively things to say, the topics usually centering on the Kevin Smith triumvirate of sex, comics, and movies.
Ragged, messy, and flat, this is Kevin Smith's sophomore jinx; coming right after Clerks, it was a huge artistic and commercial flop
There must be a helluva lot of Mallrats fans out there, and I feel pretty confident in saying that they'll pretty much adore this new DVD edition.
Not only poorly directed and with an awful score, but most of the gags are painfully unfunny and most of the characters are painfully annoying in a stupid story that can't find any compelling reason to exist and is only a misfire that plods along with no sense of structure.
17 years ago I was around 10 years old, magic eyes were in every daily newspaper comics section, vhs tapes were all we knew, the Sega Genesis was the racy video game machine, and punk rock was beginning its heyday. There was barely an internet and there was no e-commerce, nor were there shopping centers like we have now; there were only malls. Malls with arcades, pet stores and comic book stores. Mallrats, from 1995, captures this moment in time. This is a very stupid movie, but Kevin Smith does to "stupid comedy" what Quintin Tarantino does to "violence" -- adds an entertaining, signature style and atmosphere (and off-plot dialogue of random observations). They are both confident in their unorthodox approaches, doing things no other filmmakers have the guts to try or sense to pull off (Did I really just do a magic eye image? ..Yes, and that was no sailboat!). This movie knows what it is, bad acting included, and it doesn't care if I don't like it - it was only made for those that would. If I had seen this as an adult 17 years ago, I likely would have thought it banal and given it 2 stars. But seeing it now, well I guess I'm one of the lucky ones!
Though this a brainless, disappointing follow-up to Clerks, it's still enjoyable just to enter back into the world of Kevin Smith.
Brodie: Listen, not a year goes by, not a year, that I don't hear about some escalator accident involving some bastard kid which could have easily been avoided had some parent - I don't care which one - but some parent conditioned him to fear and respect that escalator.
"It's mall or nothing"
Okay, so Mallrats isn't Clerks or Chasing Amy; it is still funny and entertaining in ways only a Kevin Smith film can be. Filled with foul language and gross out dialogue; Mallrats is a movie that is pretty much identical to Clerks in concept. The film gives us two friends, who hang out at one location and talk all day. Occasionally something happens, like an elevator fuck, but for the most part it is just an average day in the life of two best friend losers.
Both T.S. and Brodie have been dumped by their girlfriends on the same morning. After meeting up and learning that the other has had the same misfortune, they decide to go hang out at the mall. There they run into a cast of characters. There's a guy who stares at a picture all day trying to see the 3-D image. There's a 15 year old genius who is writing a book on males sex drive. Stan Lee is having a comic signing in the mall. Brodie's archenemy, Shannon, works in a store there and is making the moves on his now ex-girlfriend. And of course Jay and Silent Bob are there hanging out, doing nothing.
This movie doesn't reach the hilariousness of Clerks, but for a second directorial project, it is pretty good. It has the great indie feel that all of Smith's works have. It is packed full of all of the entertainment Smith loves like comic books and Star Wars. In fact, the whole movie Silent Bob is trying to do the Jedi mind trick.
Mallrats isn't great, but if you have seen some of Smith's other films and liked them, odds are you will like this one too. If you have seen and disliked movies like Clerks and Chasing Amy, even Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; I can pretty much guarantee you won't like this one anymore. In fact, you'll probably like it less.
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