Mallrats (1995), Cert 18.

Director - Kevin Smith.

Writer - Kevin Smith.

Starring - Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Michael Rooker & Stan Lee.


Premise - When two best friends (Jason Lee & Jeremy London) are both simultaneously ditched by their girlfriends (Shannen Doherty & Claire Forlani) they retreat to the local shopping mall to mope around. They concoct an intricate plan to get them back involving a live TV game show and Jay & Silent Bob (Jason Mewes & Kevin Smith).

Many years ago when I first saw Mallrats I remember being less than impressed. Watching it now I am finding it difficult to recall what my problems with the movie were as this time round I was laughing hysterically almost throughout the running time. Thinking about it though I would attribute my indifference to my high expectations after seeing Clerks, my hatred of Shannen Doherty and my relative ignorance to the world of Kevin Smith.

In-fact Mallrats is perhaps best watched after seeing all the other ViewAskewniverse movies (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back). Mallrats sews the seeds of it's successors by introducing characters, actors, running jokes and language that would go on to become the staple of a ViewAskewniverse movie.

The story of Mallrats is nonsense, sheer ludicrousness. But what Kevin Smith film has a coherent plot? In saying that however the script is as sharp, witty and bursting at the seams with pop culture references as you are likely to find. It's a real treat for me as a movie fan to watch Kevin Smith films. I can sit and be smug in realising that the main characters in Mallrats are named after characters from Jaws (Brodie & Quint) and spot things like Quint picking up a Clerks hat in the flea pit.

That's not to say all the humour is of the self referential variety. Mallrats is just a damned funny movie. Like many of Smith's films a large proportion of these laughs come form the stoner duo Jay & Silent Bob. Jason Mewes plays Jay spot on and is completely repellent, but I can't help but laugh at his antics. Kevin Smith as Bob is just so good at physical comedy and he has to be as his character almost never speaks.

Everything however is not smelly of roses. The performances go form the very good (Jason Lee), to the downright woeful. Weighing the movie down are Jeremy London and Claire Forlani. Both are just terribly wooden and since the crux of the movie revolves around them this is a real problem. Stan Lee has a small cameo, but he is certainly not an actor and should probably stick to comic books. Michael Rooker was good and with his bald head I got the impression that he would make a rather good Lex Luthor should Warner ever get round to reviving the Superman franchise.

So, for my money Kevin Smith's most underrated movie that is consistently funny, but marred slightly by some dodgy acting. Some important warnings on the safety of children on escalators as well! So, informative and funny, not often you can say that!


8/10 for Mallrats.

Poster Quote - You tell 'em Steve Dave....