Following the smash success of his first feature, Clerks, Kevin Smith returned with Mallrats. Spawning a raft of characters and in-jokes that Smith would carry throughout his career, the film continued the one-of-a-kind comedic world known as the View Askewniverse.
Simultaneously dumped by their girlfriends, comic book obsessive Brodie (Jason Lee) and best friend TS (Jeremy London) plan to ease the pain of their losses by taking take a trip to the local mall. Amongst shoppers, they discover the mall is being used as the venue for a dating show, in which TS’s girlfriend Brandi is the star. Hatching a plan to win back their significant others, Brodie and TS enlist the help of professional delinquents Jay and Silent Bob to hijack the gameshow in a bid to win back Brandi. Meanwhile, Brodie carries out his own mission to make good his relationship with Rene (Shannen Doherty), who has attracted the attentions of his nemesis Shannon (Ben Affleck).
What We Thought:
Ken are you really reviewing Mallrats? Yes I am. Well it’s the new 2 disc Blu-ray from Arrow to be more specific. It features a brand new restoration by Arrow Films of both the Theatrical and Extended cuts of the film approved by director Kevin Smith and cinematographer David Klein, a newly assembled TV cut of the film featuring hilarious overdubbing to cover up profanity, a brand new introduction to the film by Kevin Smith, commentary from Smith and cast, and much more.
As for the film itself, despite it being a box office dud, in the 25 years (god I’m old) since its release, it’s grown a huge cult following and is a beloved Kevin Smith film. It helped introduce the world to Ben Affleck and made the back of a Volkswagen a euphemism for, well, you know. It’s always been a personal favorite and was one of the movies in the 1990s that made me want to get into film. It’s a classic buddy comedy with the straight man and wild card and it’s also secretly a romantic comedy. I’m sure at this point you know whether or not you like the film. I do and it’s something I’ve seen dozens of times.
As for this release, it’s a shame Smith’s filmography isn’t all from the same studio because I want all his films like this. Most of his early work is Miramax, but this isn’t hence why this feels like a random release. But I’ll take what I can get. Smith has always filled his home video releases with bonus material and wow is this packed. From deleted scenes and sequences cut from the film to outtakes and behind the scenes stuff, if there’s anything you’ve ever wanted to know about Mallrats, it’s here. I’ve sat through a lot of Smith bonus features before (the original opening to Mallrats is crazy!), but this is 2 discs full of material. The film looks and sounds great and it really is a shame we can’t get all the View Askewniverse movies like this.
A lot of people have written off Smith over the past 10-15 years, but he had a huge following in the 1990s and early 2000s. You may have given up on him after Jersey Girl, but if you checked out Jay & Silent Bob Reboot earlier in the year, you’ll love this new 2 disc Mallrats release. The film has never looked better. It’s full of Kevin Smith tidbits and the movie is a cult classic for a reason.
WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE NEW KID?