Mallrats 20th Anniversary

“ Why don’t they ever bring back or remake good shows, like “BJ and the Bear.” Now there’s a concept I can’t get enough of, a man and his monkey.” That is a question that is asked more often than not, I mean really why do they bring back or remake only bad shows? Of course bad vs. good is a matter of personal opinion, and that is another debate for another day. Today we are here to remember a movie that turned twenty years old, a movie that is in the news again, because someone took that advice and brought back something good again. “Mallrats” was the second film from writer/director Kevin Smith, and the follow up to “Clerks”. While his first film was shot using his own credit cards, “Mallrats” was the first time he got to play with other people’s money.

Every time you go to the mall, you see those kids that just seem to be always there hanging out, well this is their story .TS Quint (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee) both are having girl problems, and decide to go to the one place that will help them solve them, the mall. Rene (Shannen Doherty) is tired of Brodie not appreciating her, while Brandi (Claire Forlani) is being pressured by her father to find someone better than Quint. Throw in a ex Gwen (Joey Lauren Adams), who always gets interrupted while changing, and a guy named Shannon (Ben Affleck) who likes to have sex in a very uncomfortable place, and no not in the back of a Volkswagen. With all of that, you know anything and everything can happen, including an assault on the Easter Bunny, chocolate covered pretzels, and a dating game show that has more than a few surprises of it’s own.

When “Mallrats” hit theaters twenty years ago, to say it didn’t do well would be a true statement. It seems in this case the treasure that is “Mallrats” was discovered in video form. When going down the many films that Kevin Smith has made, “Mallrats” went from being the flop of his career, to a movie that became so good, like “Clerks”; they decided to make a second one. One of the things about this movie that you will enjoy, especially if you grew up in the nineties, is that is a perfect time capsule. While malls and mall-life has changed, with so many of them going the way of the dinosaur, it is fun to see when they were the center of everything again. I remember going to the malls every weekend with no real shopping agenda, but instead just to walk around and take it all in, all I was missing was a little cup to take advantage of free beverages. The other thing that shines in this film is Smith’s dialogue, especially in the hands of Jason Lee, who takes the words and brings new life to them. Smith nowadays is reliving his past, while also bringing us new things to enjoy. With “Clerks 3” ready to shoot, it is only fitting that Smith revisit the mall and with an announcement earlier this year, it seems he does indeed smell a rat. I for one am looking forward to the continuing adventures in the mall, and to see what Smith has planned next, as long as it is not in an uncomfortable place, I know I will enjoy.

 

Brian Taylor

Mallrats 20th Anniversary
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