Recently I decided to sit down and watch all of Kevin Smith’s films from his first (Clerks) to his latest (Tusk, even though Yoga Hosers is coming). This was something that I had wanted to do for a while and I found that some of the films I liked better than I did before, but I also found that some of his films don’t stand the test of time.
2.) Chasing Amy (1997)
When Chasing Amy first hit screens back in 1997, the film was a pull no punches look at love and the complications of thinking too much about something that and not just going with it. Looking at the film now, it is still the above, but something seemed different this time around. I noticed that Ben Affleck was actually not that great as the guy who can’t deal with his girlfriend’s past.
The first two thirds of Tusk are great. Smith sets up the world in which the characters live, he lets us get to know these characters a bit, and he lays the groundwork for things to happen later. The setup is fantastic. It is the reveal that is underwhelming. When we see the walrus made out of Justin Long we laugh. We are not supposed but we do. All of the dread and suspense the film had been laying on us evaporates in an instant once we see that damn Walrus.
I liked Mallrats from the first time I saw it. I could never understand why everyone shit all over it. Sure it is not a good as Clerks, but the film is still entertaining. Plus we got introduced to some great actors here. We didn’t know who Claire Forlani was, but we did after the film came out. We also got Jason Lee and Joey Lauren Adams, so the film is not a total bust. There are plenty of quotable lines and wacky fun. The film does look cheap, but the film was low budget. Mallrats never deserved the hate it got and I still have fun with the film.
I loved this film when it first came out. I thought that it was the funniest film of 2001. Now? Not so much. I think that the film tries too hard to stick any and all references in and the end result is a film that is all over the place. Add that to some terrible scenes and you have a not so good film. If the film had focused on Jay and Silent Bob then I think the film would be more successful, but including a diamond heist was not a wise move. The acting isn’t all that great either. The actresses playing the diamond thieves are stiff as a board and boring to watch. I do like the Morris Day scene at the end and I do chuckle from time to time, but the film has not aged well.
11.) Cop Out (2010)
The first and only studio film that Smith has done, Cop Out is a mess from start to finish. The script had been on the blacklist for a long time, but if you watch the film you can’t see why. Bruce Willis looks like he doesn’t want to be there (he really doesn’t want to be there) and everyone else is trying too hard. The script went through multiple rewrites after Willis didn’t like what they were doing. The film is a slog to get through as well. Smith tried to do his best to keep this film from sinking, but he should have just let it sink. This is the worst film that Smith has ever made.