Why do people praise Kevin Smith so much? I know that when 'Clerks' came out way back in 1994 it was a big deal on the indie cinema scene. It spoke to a lot of people of a certain generation and appealed to young 'regular' people who liked it for its pop culture references, as well as the more highbrow critics who like it for being all talk and made in black and white.
Kevin Smith burst onto the scene and looked like he was going to change cinema in a big way, along with both Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, the three of whom appeared to be combining the dialogue of high class art house productions and the sleaziness and grimy aesthetic of the grindhouse genre, all mixed in with liberal amounts of pop culture references and geek ephemera.
At these first few films from these directors were making a big impact upon a generation of film fans who finally felt that there were people making movies that not only appealed to them, but could almost have been made by them. They were directors that the audience could identify with and aspire to be.
Whilst at the time 'Clerks' was an important part of this movement and new form of cinema, to look at it now there's not much of the film that can actually stand on its own. It's not particularly funny, the scenarios are all contrived and predictable, the dialogue is stilted and unnatural, there's no creativity when it comes to the cinematography and the acting is amateur and hammy at best.
'Clerks' only succeeded in becoming something notable at the time because there wasn't much like it on the market. As time went on and Smith made more films it became apparent that what little there was in 'Clerks' that made it successful was missing completely from his other projects. Along with the development of the 'askewniverse' and the self-indulgence of the Silent Bob character Smith went from one poor project to the next.
I thought that his body horror film 'Tusk' was the complete low point of his career, with the plot and characters based on crappy jokes from his 'SModcast' show in a moment of terrible self-reference and self-adulation. The film wasn't funny in the slightest, the plot was ridiculous and the whole thing seemed to be made only to appeal to Smith himself and his unquestioning fans.
|Kevin Smith as the Bratzi|
So yet again we have another film based around frankly ludicrous 'jokes' from his show, built as a platform for him and Johnny Depp to get their daughters into a lead film role and with an absolutely stupid premise.
Now, I'm not against schlocky films, they're definitely a genre that I love, but the reason they're good when they're good is because they're trying to make genuinely good films, but they fail making a serious film and instead create something so crazy it's great. 'Yoga Hosers', just like 'Tusk' before it, appear to be trying to make a film with that same ridiculous schlocky feel, the problem is those kinds of films aren't made intentionally bad.
It would appear that Kevin Smith fails to understand this and thinks that just by making something with a stupid premise, crappy monster effects and awkward dialogue will make them good films by virtue of being 'so bad it's good', when instead they're just plain bad.
I fail to see who these films are being made for other than as a product of Smiths terrible humour and self-love, whilst feeling that he can make his daughter a film star simply because people let him do whatever he wants in his films. I just don't understand why he keeps being allowed to do whatever he wants and keeps getting to make complete and utter crap.
'Clerks' might have meant something to a lot of people when it first came out, and it might have helped to create a new age of cinema for a whole generation, but it's cultural significance does not automatically make it a good film. It is allowed to have done all of that good stuff and still be a poor piece of cinema. You don't have to hold it, and by extension Smith, up on an untouchable pedestal because of what it did at the time.
Kevin Smith is not a good filmmaker, he is not a good writer, and he is not particularly funny. Don't just keep letting him do whatever the hell he want and actually question whether people should waste so much money, effort and time on another of his pointless and terrible projects that will amount to nothing more than further feeding of his ego.