But what about the second half? After the formation of the Fight Club, the exploration of the male psyche ends, and suddenly the movie is about some modern-day band of Merry Pranksters punking corporate America. Here's a sentence that no one has ever said: "Oh man, I love Fight Club. That part where they make soap is very enjoyable and clearly an understandably necessary part of the story arc!" We don't learn anything more about the nature of violence and men, and the high-scale pranks that take the place of that inquiry don't sufficiently entertain or answer the promise of the first half. Sure, there is the rewarding reveal at the end of the movie that I won't spoil, but the 45 minutes that precede it could be removed with no damage to the plot of the film. That's how you know it doesn't matter. Also, as long as you're super pissed at me, you should probably give another 10 bucks to charity, because I banged your mom.
Kevin Smith started his career and changed the way we thought about filmmaking with his breakout hit, Clerks. Before YouTube was omnipresent, this small-time filmmaker showed the world you could make a movie knowing virtually nothing about blocking, lighting, or other elements typically attributed to directors. You could make a movie people wanted to see, even it was about nobodies portrayed by no-name actors, as long as it was snappy and funny. And Clerks is funny, but, um, mostly in the first half.
Picture a solid blowjob joke here.
The bits about snowballing, how many guys Dante's ex has blown, the miserable treatment of customers, and, of course, just the mere presence of the now-iconic Jay and Silent Bob. But if I were to ask you what actually happens in Clerks or what it's about, you'd go, "Um, some ... clerks?" The movie is short on plot, conflict, and rising action, which is why the most notable thing that happens in the entire second half of the film is a woman accidentally having sex with a dead guy with a rigor mortis penis in the darkened convenience store bathroom. This is the kind of plot line that would have been generated and then rejected in an all-night coke-fueled Three's Company writing session. It's not that it's too dirty -- remember, I started this article with a reference to goat people sodomy -- it's just too stupid. And yes, again, I started this column referencing goat sodomy.
The one nice thing about watching Clerks run out of steam is then seeing Smith's subsequent films, where he seems increasingly concerned with plot and structure, until he got it right with his best film, Dogma, before inexplicably forgetting it all again.
HEY!!! AGENTS OF THE INTERNET APOCALYPSE is now available! You can read Chapter 1 for free!
Also be sure to follow Gladstone on Twitter.
And you can get all your Internet Apocalypse news here.
Some movies have to be mined to find the truly great gems. See how the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is only one-third the movie it needs to be in 6 Classic Horror Films You See Differently In A New Audience. Every movie has a silver lining. See how in 5 Amazing Scenes From Otherwise Horrible Movies.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see how the best part of being in a horror movie is helping you get laid! Check out Why Horror Movie Slashers Are The Best Wingmen Ever, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook because it is one more fun way to stick it to your myspace account.