I think that it is crucial when reviewing movies to determine two different macro things: 1) is the movie fun and 2) is it a good movie. These are not necessarily the same things, shlocky bad film making can lead to a fun movie, and not necessarily in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. Take a movie like the original Clerks, that is a fun movie, but it’s not necessarily well made. Then of course there are the movies that I like to label as being “good for you.” Let’s face it, just because a movie is a “message” movie it is not always fun, it might just be well made and teach you something and thus be “good for you.”
This past weekend I went to see Clerks II. Probably, if I had to categorize it, I’d call it “benign” and not in Microsoft Word’s definition of it, but in the more scientific definition as “harmless” or at the very least “non-malignant.” I know, you’re thinking to yourself how can a movie about interspecies sex be non-malignant? Answer: because it’s just good fun. It’s certainly not a movie for everyone, and people in my house were absolutely upset when I came home discussing interspecies sex, but that’s not the point. I went to a movie where I expected to see people criticize the world in an over-the-top way, to laugh, and to be utterly disgusted by at least one scene in the movie. Clerks II delivered exactly that. If I wanted to watch a great film I would have chosen to see something else, I wanted to see a movie that was going to make me laugh, and I absolutely did.
I would criticize it for not making me laugh as much as Clerks, and for not being Kevin Smith’s finest work. But it was fun, it gave me another look into Kevin Smith’s world, and it made me contemplate the world around me (at least a little). Lawrence of Arabia it wasn’t (a movie I qualify as being both fun and good), but it was certainly worth my time and I would recommend it (though not to children).