Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
  Mallrats Let's Go Shopping
Year: 1995
Director: Kevin Smith
Stars: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Renée Humphrey, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ethan Suplee, Stan Lee, Priscilla Barnes, Michael Rooker, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Brian O'Halloran
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Best friends TS (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee) have both been dumped on the same morning, and neither are happy about it. TS was seeing Brandi (Claire Forlani), but after he accidentally caused a friend of hers to take so much exercise she died, Brandi tells him her father (Michael Rooker) has to feature her as a replacement contestant on his cheesy TV dating show, meaning she will not be able to accompany TS to Florida for the holiday of a lifetime. Brodie meanwhile was seeing Rene (Shannen Doherty) who has left him for being too immature, but will either of them be able to win them back?

Writer and director Kevin Smith was latterly seen as a divisive figure, with an army of fans yet seemingly just as many detractors who could not stand his sense of humour or wealth of references he crowbarred into every movie, but this was by no means a recent development, as the haters started hating with avengeance around about the time Mallrats came out. Or rather, when Mallrats was a flop, with grumblings that Smith had sold out by making his next film after cult indie Clerks with a major studio which had ordered him to tone down the ribaldry that had made that first effort so distinctive. He moved on to different projects, and as he did this apparently unloved work found its audience.

True that was mainly among people who were fans of Smith in the first place, but for some of those Mallrats was their favourite of his comedies, and so it has gone onto a fairly respectable reputation. It was accurate to observe there were a good few laughs here, although nineties nostalgia was undoubtedly a part of what made audiences warm to the film, but also accurate that the film had its problems, and much of that was down to how charming it thought it was. Its naughty schoolboy attitude, or naughty overgrown schoolboy attitude to be more exact, was the source of amusement to an extent, but at times it was as if Smith was not quite aware of how abrasive some of this was coming across.

Specifically the Brodie character, who was in most scenes and as played by Jason Lee was not half as engaging as he should have been. You could see what the director was aiming for, a more general audiences relationship that had been at the heart of Clerks, but Brodie too often looked to be a raging asshole rather than a master of the flip quips. Whether it was Lee's misreading of the role or a fault in Smith's direction was hard to say, but once Brodie started opening his mouth you yearned for someone else to interrupt him - it was telling that he was only able to claw back some sympathy because his rival in love was an even bigger jerk, played with no humour at all by Ben Affleck.

Outside of those two, this was rather more likeable, the females in the cast tending towards longsuffering in light of the behaviour they had to put up with from the childish men in their lives. Almost stealing the show were two characters held over from Clerks, Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself, saying little as usual), whose ludicrous antics were so daft that when combined with Mewes' very specific dialogue they were genuinely funny. A starrier wattage of celebrity saw more famous faces here though, Rooker going all out for macho nastiness as the inevitably foiled dad/producer, Doherty doing her best to leave her teen soap queen persona behind (and not really succeeding, one assumes), with TV comedy star Priscilla Barnes sporting a third nipple as a psychic and comics legend Stan Lee as himself, both dispensing wise words to guide our heroes. As ever with Smith, self-indulgence was never far away which was why he generated such ire, but Mallrats does look better with the passage of time. Music by Ira Newborn.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3297 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Kevin Smith  (1970 - )

American writer-director, by turns self-indulgent and hilarious. His first film Clerks brought him cult success, but he followed it with the big studio flop Mallrats. Chasing Amy was a return to form, and Dogma courted religious controversy. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was a tribute to the double act who appeared in every one of his films up until then (Silent Bob was played by Smith himself). Jersey Girl was a conventional romantic comedy that disappointed most of his fans.

Smith is also a writer of comic books, both established characters (Daredevil, Green Arrow) and his own creations. An attempt to turn Clerks into a cartoon series was a failure - but it was damn funny all the same. Fans of the characters could console themselves with the sequel Clerks II. He then offered sex comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno to mixed reviews, and Cop Out to downright terrible ones which led him to much public complaining. Self-proclaimed horror movie Red State, however, won him some of the best reactions of his career, though audiences were fewer in number.

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: