CLERKS III*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film starts with Dante Hicks (Brian O’Halloran) going about his usual routine. He goes to open the Quick Stop, only to find gum in the locks of the shutters. After taking care of the opening, he spends the rest of the day with his best friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), and they play hockey on the roof like they used to.
Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) are up to their usual antics, selling weed outside the store. Meanwhile, Elias Grover (Trevor Fehrman) shows up, still being driven to work by his mom. Elias has a new best friend, Blockchain Coltrane (Austin Zajur), who doesn’t speak and is referred to by Randal as Elias’s own Silent Bob. The guys continue their banter, with Randal continuing to mock Elias for his nerdy behavior and overly religious beliefs. Elias makes a joke prayer for something to happen to Randal. Moments later, Randal starts to feel dizzy and out of breath before he collapses to the floor. Dante immediately calls an ambulance.
At the hospital, Randal meets Dr. Ladenheim (Amy Sedaris), who tells Randal he is in the middle of a major heart attack. They need to perform an operation involving making an incision in Randal’s groin, but he’s ashamed because he says he has a small penis. The nurse (Justin Long) goes to get Randal to begin the procedure. While this goes on, Elias renounces God because he feels that his prayers hurt Randal and couldn’t help him, so he decides to become a satanist.
Dr. Ladenheim tells Randal he suffered what is called “the widow maker,” something not a lot of people recover from. She tells Dante to check on Randal because he might feel depression after coming to terms with his mortality. Sure enough, Randal laments to Dante that he feels he’s wasted his life at the Quick Stop just talking about movies and never doing anything fulfilling. With Dante’s encouragement, Randal declares he is going to make his own movie.
Randal begins preparations for his film, recruiting Dante plus Elias and Blockchain, both of who are now full-fledged satanists and are starting a crypto-based business selling Buddy Christ kites. Randal says he wants to make the film about his time working there at the Quick Stop, with characters based on people he knows and with dialogue he and others have spoken there. Despite some hesitance, Randal also agrees to hire Jay and Silent Bob to help out as well.
Dante goes to the cemetery to visit the grave of Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson), who died along with their unborn child shortly after she married Dante. Her spirit appears to him as Dante says he feels alone and directionless without her. Becky encourages Dante to keep living his life and to move on from her. She then tells Dante about all the famous dead people she’s had sex with, and they all go “ass to mouth” with her.
Randal holds auditions for the characters in his film. Several hopeful actors (Ben Affleck, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Fred Armisen, Melissa Benoist, Bobby Moynihan, Sal Vulcano, and Joe Gatto) show up and recite lines such as the famous “I’m not even supposed to be here today!” one. Ultimately, Randal decides to have his friends act as themselves.
While going over the script, Dante is annoyed to find that Randal introduces his character a while into the film, with Randal claiming that Dante is neither the Han Solo or Chewbacca of his film, but more like a minor character from one of the older “Star Wars” movies that nobody cares about. Jay also complains about some of the dialogue that Randal wrote for him and Silent Bob, such as their “snootchie boochies” catchphrase. Silent Bob also speaks up about shooting the film in black and white because the colors inside the Quick Stop are hideous.
The guys are visited by Dante’s ex-girlfriend Veronica Loughran (Marilyn Ghigliotti), who received the script and is annoyed to find that there is a character based off her and the fact that Dante never got over her going down on 36 other guys. She snaps at him and Randal and blurts out that at least she has a family, which she immediately regrets when she remembers Dante’s tragedy. He follows Veronica and gets into her car, where she breaks down and tells Dante about how her life sucks now since her ex-husband drove a wedge between her and their daughter. Dante comforts Veronica, and they have sex in her car, which the other guys watch.
Randal asks Dante to help him raise more money for the film. Dante turns to his ex-fiancé Emma Bunting (Jennifer Schwalbach Smith), who hates Dante’s guts after he cheated on her with Becky. Dante begs Emma for extra funding even though she hates Randal too, and Dante offers his half of the Quick Stop as collateral, even though Emma says it’s a shithole.
Further along into the filming, Jay gets too wasted and fudges his lines, so Silent Bob speaks up and delivers the line about Dante’s character still being in love with Veronica’s character.
Dante faces a problem when Randal wants to shoot “the donkey scene” in their old Mooby’s restaurant, but it is too much for Dante because it brings up the trauma of losing Becky. Randal acknowledges that this is a sore spot for Dante, but he rips into him for not sucking it up and helping out with the scene.
The gang shoots another scene at the Quick Stop, until Dante gets up and launches a tirade against Randal for forcing him to do the film and relive the worst moment of his life, wherein Dante reveals Becky and their child were killed by a drunk driver. He continues to go off on Randal for being a shitty friend and declares that they are done as friends…and then Dante has a heart attack and faints.
Randal is prohibited from seeing Dante at the hospital due to the urgency of his condition. When he vents to Elias, Elias tears into Randal for being a selfish jerk, even informing him that Dante asked Emma for the extra money. Realizing how wrong he was, Randal rushes back to the weed store that Jay and Silent Bob run and asks for their help while he runs back home.
Jay creates a distraction so Randal can sneak into Dante’s room. He shows Dante a rough cut of the film (which are actual clips from the original “Clerks”), and Randal tells a barely conscious Dante that he could not have done any of this without him, and that not only is Dante his best friend, but also his hero. Dante subconsciously watches the film in a theater with Becky, saying it’s the best movie he’s ever seen. With this, he feels that he is ready to join Becky. Outside, Dante begins to flatline.
A funeral is held for Dante, with all those closest to him attending. Randal eulogizes his best friend and tells him, “You’re not even supposed to be here today.”
Randal continues to run the Quick Stop with Elias. Emma comes in demanding the money she loaned Dante, or she will take her half of the Quick Stop. Elias and Blockchain then announce that their kites have sold out and they have enough to give Emma so she can leave. They spend the rest on weed from Jay and Silent Bob. Randal then quietly whispers he wishes Dante were there. Dante’s spirit appears alongside Randal as they look out into the store, with the other guys messing around while Jay’s daughter Milly (Harley Quinn Smith) is now an employee and is checking the expiration dates on milk cartons.
During the credits, Kevin Smith’s voice can be heard addressing the audience to express what the “Clerks” series meant to him and to thank the viewers for giving him reason to make these films.
After 30 years, best friends Dante Hicks and Randal Graves are still working at the Quick Stop. After Randal suffers a near-fatal heart attack, he chooses to do something fulfilling with his life and make a movie based on his experience working at the Quick Stop (basically Kevin Smith’s experience making the first “Clerks” film).
Randal recruits Elias plus Jay and Silent Bob to help out. Dante helps but is still mourning the loss of his wife Becky and their unborn child after she was killed by a drunk driver. The stress from Randal takes its toll on Dante and he suffers a more serious heart attack.
After realizing what a jerk he’s been, Randal gets help from Jay and Silent Bob to sneak into Dante’s hospital room to show him a rough cut of the film. Dante subconsciously watches it with Becky and says it’s the best movie he’s ever seen, and he dies moments later.
Randal mourns his best friend and continues running the Quick Stop with Elias after he helps Randal pay back Dante’s ex-fiancé Emma for loaning him money for the film. As Randal misses Dante, his spirit stands alongside him.