If you’ve heard of the movie Mallrats then probably the first thing you associate it with is the director and writer Kevin Smith. His first movie, Clerks, was a hit due to its sincerity and the way people could relate to it. Most of us have worked the grueling retail job where we stood behind a cash register and dealt with difficult people. As with Clerks, Mallrats continues to hint of Smith’s experiences and passions. Many of us grew up hanging around the mall all the time. Combine this with one of Smith’s deepest passions, comic books, and you have the recipe for his next movie.
With an unusual script and mediocre actors, the cast of Mallrats quickly begin to look like they are in a bad position. Beside Ben Affleck who went on to become a lead actor in big budget films, most of the cast met their fate as useless and forgotten. The main exception includes Shannon Doherty from a popular TV show called 90210. Doherty breathes life and air into this suffocating movie by providing not only believable acting but also a bit of sentimentalism that has escaped the majority of the film. The ending admittingly does provide an uplifting feeling of warm that perhaps should have been throughout the entire film.
Another supporting Mallrats cast member who was exceptional enough to go on to have leading roles in other films is Claire Forlani. In Mallrats her role is somewhat minor but her sense of innocence proved useful for her role and carried over with her other acting work throughout time. Forlani went on to bigger and better roles like Ben Affleck did.
I suppose the biggest Mallrats character I should mention is Stan Lee. This was way before Lee would forcibly make an appearance in as many Marvel movies as possible before his death. His cameo was especially significant since comic book culture was at its peak in 1995 before the hurdling crash. He was also a character, both on and off the screen, that people still admired and looked up to. As time went on though people began to learn the truth about Stan Lee through books like Marvel Comics: The Untold Story about how abusive he was.
You might wonder why Stan Lee was in the movie in the first place, or why the movie had a comic book subplot. Kevin Smith, as with his movies, shoe-horned in his passions into Mallrats. He famously sold his comic book collection to make his first movie Clerks which apparently paid off. This second movie of his, however, did not settle particularly well with critics. Although not a box office bomb, its mixed reception still allowed it to become a cult classic as Smith would go on to legendary status and develop more movies, television shows and, you guessed it, comic books.
These are just my opinions anyway. What are your thoughts on the Mallrats? Leave a comment below.