Mallrats (1995)

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6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some good casting, clever moments

Childish and less developed than Clerks

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mallrats

Studio:  View Askew Productions

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  October 20, 1995

MPAA Rating:  R

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Jay and Silent Bob trade up to hanging at the mall.

T.S. Quint (Jeremy London) big plans for his proposal to Brandi Svenning (Claire Forlani) are ruined when she’s forced to take a girl’s place on the game show of her father (Michael Rooker).  This means T.S. is going to the mall with comic book obsessed Brodie Bruce (Jason Lee) who also just broke up with his girlfriend Rene Mosier (Shannen Doherty).  The mall is hopping!  Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) are in a plan to stop the game show, and William (Ethan Suplee) just wants to see the Magic Eye sailboat.  T.S. is out to get Brandi back, and Brodie is trying to avoid Rene and her new boyfriend Shannon Hamilton (Ben Affleck).

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Enjoy your stink palm!

Written and directed by Kevin Smith, Mallrats is his follow-up to his breakout hit Clerks in 1994.  The movie was released to criticism due to comparisons to Clerks, but like many of Kevin Smith’s movies, it has gained a cult following.

While the inane babble of Clerks was charming, it is a bit more painful here.  The stand-up comedy and rant style of Kevin Smith’s writing doesn’t transition well to a bigger budget and more plot driven story.  This is hurt even more by the amped up inclusion of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes’ characters Jay & Silent Bob who were ok as the slacker/stoners of the first movie but get quite irritating here.  I do however like the mall culture study that is present in the film and it is interesting to see it updated from ’80s films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

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Where does he get those wonderful toys?

The cast is all very young.  Shannen Doherty was probably the biggest star in the movie at the time, but obviously Ben Affleck and Jason Lee both have gone on to become bigger stars.  Jason Lee is as the outspoken Brodie is worth watching and his My Name Is Earl costar Ethan Suplee plays the frustrated Magic Eye (attempted) viewer William.  Michael Rooker always plays a good slimy guy and giant Sven-Ole Thorsen is good as the muscle bound security guard.  Plus, you get a cameo by Stan “The Man” Lee (in a non-Marvel movie).

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Even Stan will do anything for money…

The mall has a lot of opportunity for a movie but the movie loses Clerks’ black-and-white edginess.  I feel that the mall is supposed to be huge and sprawling, but somehow Smith makes it feel really small at points.

Mallrats is tolerable but doesn’t live up to Smith’s first movie.  There are some laughs (I know that when Magic Eyes were new, I sat there struggling to see the picture), but there are many pitfalls that eat up the time in the movie.  Smith followed Mallrats with the stronger Chasing Amy but also set up Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back.  Kevin Smith has also planned to a sequel to Mallrats called Mallbrats.

Related Links:

Clerks (1994)

Chasing Amy (1997)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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