Mallrats (1995)

A review by Shlomoh Sherman
November 18, 2016

Mallrats (1995)
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Stars: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Ben Affleck
Plot Summary: Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.
Plot Keywords: mall - ex girlfriend - jay and silent bob - comic - teenager
Taglines: Get off your TV watching brown eye and come see our movie!
Genres: Comedy - Romance
Motion Picture Rating: (MPAA)
Rated R for strong language, including sexual dialogue, and for some scenes of sexuality and drug content
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: October 20, 1995 (USA)
Filming Locations: Eden Prairie Center Mall - 8251 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA
Box Office:
Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)
Gross: $2,122,561 (USA)
Company Credits:
Production Co: Gramercy Pictures (I), Alphaville Films, View Askew Productions
Runtime: 94 min - 123 min (extended)

This is the 4th of Kevin Smith's films I have seen. If you go to the Review Index page, you can see reviews of DOGMA and CHASING AMY. I have not yet written a review of CLERKS. I completely enjoyed these three movies. Sorry but I can't say the same about MALLRATS. It is the only one of Smith's movies in which I kept hoping for something intelligent or funny [or both] to happen. By the middle of this disappointing movie, I just couldn't wait for it to end. Forget for a moment the sophmoric and boring story. I kept watching because I kept hoping that the sequences with Silent Bob and Jay would make me laugh. But no. Smith's usually comic reparte with Jason Mewes fell flat even here.

The story revolves around Brodie Bruce and his best friend, TS Quint, both of whom have their relationships with their girlfriends terminated on the same day, TS because of his incompetence in dealing with his girl's father who does not like him, and Brodie because of his limited ability to engage fully in intimacy with his girl. He won't even let her meet his mother. But looked at critically, in each relationship one of the partners does not have the ability to bring a parent in alignment with the relationship.

In their depression over the loss of the significant other, they decide to spend the day malingering at a local mall. Along the way, they meet up with various friends: Willam, who stares at Magic Eye pictures, failing to see a supposed hidden image that all others see; Gwen, one of TS's ex-girlfriends; and of course Jay and Silent Bob, two buddies featured in all of Kevin films.

Along the way, they encounter Shannon, manager of one of the mall's shops, who falls for Brodie's girl friend and gives him a severe beating.

Eventually, TS amd Brodie win back their significant others and the film's ending suggests that they both will find an accomodation with the girlfriends' parents.

It's obvious from watching Kevin Smith's movies that he is a comic book geek, and comic books are featured prominently in the movies. In Mallrats, Smith gives Stan Lee, the master comic book writer, a cameo, playing himslef.

Bradc-2 from Auckland, NZ, in his July, 2003 review, had this to say: "Listen to the dialogue and it's soon apparent that this is indeed pure Smith. And it shines. The long diatribes about seemingly nothing, the anti-establishment rumblings of Brody, and a bigger involvement of Jay and Silent Bob, make this as good, if not better than the other Kevin Smith films."

I cannot disagree more firmly. The annoying dialogue, along with the inane and predictable situational outcomes, not only do not make the movie shine. Opposite. They dull it to an aggravating extent. And I say this simply because I LOVE Silent Bob and Jay, and I expect more out of Smith.

Bradc-2 continues: "Its hard to rate this film; you'll either really like it and give it a 10 or tuck into another chocolate pretzel after giving it a 1." [The reference to chocolate covered pretzels is about Rene's father's love of these snacks.]

Bradc-2 acknowledges that some of Kevin's fans are not going to like Mallrats.

Finally Bradc-2 concludes: "As most Smith fanboys know, Mallrats has been trashed critically, financially (bad box-office) and by a lot of Smith's own fan-base."

See below for Erikdrewards' comment: "Why do so many people hate this movie?"

KUDOS to Shannen Doherty who plays Rene, TS' girlfriend. She is a beautiful woman and I know that I have seen her in other films but I cannot remember which. Her filmography says that she has appeared in 21 Jump Street, Things We Said Today, Heathers, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, none of which I have seen.

KUDOS to the lovely Joey Lauren Adams, playing Gwen, Brodie's girlfriend, best remembered as Ben Affleck's love interest in CHASING AMY. Not only is she great to look at but in my opinion, an accomplised performer.

KUDOS toMichael Rooker as Svenning, Rene's father. It's interesting to see Rooker as a younger man in a comedy. In later years, Rooker became one of filmdom's great bad guys, appearing as Merle, a wife abuser, in THE WALKING DEAD. I have also seen him portray villains in other movies.

No KUDOS to Ben Affleck as Shannon. I am sick of seeing this self-involved egotist in Kevin's movies. As I pointed out both in DOGMA and CHASING AMY, I consider him puffed up about himself, and Affleck has shown himself to be a self-righteous blowhard on Bill Maher's show.

Sorry that, unlike the other 3 of Kevin Smith's films I have seen, I cannot recommend this film for your viewing unless you want to be as bored and disppointed as I was.

Did You Know?
Mark Wahlberg was considered for Brodie and Leonardo Dicaprio as T.S.
Silent Bob has only one line in the entire movie, consisting of: "Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things." He had an additional line in the extended version, which was : "There was never anything good to say before."
Kevin Smith: [comic books] Brodie is a comic book collector; there is a comic book store in the mall; comic book creator Stan Lee appears in the movie; Brodie and T.S. discuss Superman's sex life.
The end credits scene telling us the fate of each of the main characters is an homage to the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High which also has many scenes that take place in a mall. Kevin Smith even made sure to use the same font and color for the graphics.
The scene where backstage before the game show ran by Jared Svenning starts, Roddy yelled at TS and Brodie quoting "You called down the thunder, now you got it"! That's the same line that was quoted by Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993). Kurt Russell played Wyatt Earp along side Michael Rooker who played Sherman McMasters. Rooker's character was present when Russel quoted this line.
Henry Thomas was a finalist for the role of T.S. Quint.
The book "As Askew View 2: The Films of Kevin Smith" noted that Joey Lauren Adams was originally promised the role of Rene Mosier before being cast as Gwen Turner and Brian O'Halloran auditioned to play T.S. Quint but was then hired to play Gill Hicks.
Mallrats is the only Kevin Smith film which film critic Roger Ebert gave a negative review.
This is the only film by Kevin Smith that he did not edit himself, although he and Scott Mosier cut the extended version that's on the Tenth Anniversary DVD.
Studio execs required quite a bit of language to be removed or replaced with weaker language.
In the opening credits for Ben Affleck in the movie depict a comic book which is a parody of Batman. Almost 20 years later Affleck would be cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Heather Graham auditioned for a role in this film.
Reese Witherspoon had a meeting with the casting directors, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, but both Smith and Mosier didn't enjoy the meeting and told the casting director not to bother to bring her in for an audition. Smith details this meeting in his book, "Silent Bob Speaks".
The MagicEye "sailboat" picture is actually a 4 x 3 matrix of geometric shapes consisting of a cross, a circle, a diamond, a star, 4 segmented circles and 4 cones.
Svenning was not originally supposed to be bald. Michael Rooker was trying to dye his hair gray for a better look, and decided that bald would work even better.
Universal wanted either Mike Myers, Adam Sandler or Chris Farley for the role of Brodie Bruce and Ethan Hawke for T.S. Quint.
Seth Green was on call, ready at any moment to fly to Minnesota so he could replace Jason Mewes as Jay.
The content of the dialogue between Quint and Brodie about whether Superman would be able to have sex and/or a baby with a non-superpowered woman is taken from a classic 1971 essay by science fiction author Larry Niven called "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex."
During the Batman homage as Jay and Bob escape from La Fours, the belting attached to Kevin Smith slipped. The crane refused to start (someone had shut it off), and the key could not be located, nearly resulting in a possibly lethal fall.
Mallrats was filmed in Minnesota, down the road from Fargo (1996) which was shooting at the same time.
This is the second film in Kevin Smith's intricately interconnected View Askewniverse series (the others being Clerks (1994), Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Clerks II (2006)). The movies are all linked by characters, themes and events and each contains numerous references to the others.
Orginally Stan Lee was not going to have a cameo in the movie. Kevin Smith had written a fictional Stan Lee-type character but through a connection Stan Lee was asked to be in the movie and agreed.
Stan Lee initially did not want to be in the film as himself. He felt the dialogue weren't things he would say. Kevin Smith responded that it was just pretend to which Lee replied, "Okay Spider-Friend".
One of the game show contestants is named "Gill Hicks" (played by Brian O'Halloran), a reference to Dante Hicks (played by O'Halloran in many of the other View Askewniverse movies). Presumably they are brothers.
The studio almost replaced Jason Mewes ("Jay") with Seth Green. Kevin Smith insisted that Mewes should play Jay, but the studio made Smith take auditions for the role. Breckin Meyer also auditioned. In the end, all concerned agreed that Mewes was right for the part.
Stan Lee can be seen looking to his left or right repeatedly while talking with Brodie. This is so he can see his cue cards - not being a trained actor, memorizing lines was very difficult for him. Jeremy London, on the other hand, despite being an experienced actor, forgot his lines repeatedly.

The name of security chief LaFours is written incorrectly (as "La Fours") no less than seven times on the end credits.
Brandi tells T.S. that the female contestant for her dad's show had an embolism pop in her head in mid backstroke. Embolisms occurs when an object (usually a clot) migrates from one part of the body (through circulation) and causes a blockage (occlusion) of a blood vessel in another part of the body. There is no popping involved. Brandi is apparently confusing an embolism with an aneurysm (a localized, blood-filled dilation (balloon-like bulge) of a blood vessel caused by disease or weakening of the vessel wall).
In the scene where the cop cars converge on the mall,watch the cop from the car close to the camera. His hat is starting to tilt as he emerges from the car and as he runs it completely comes off his head with what seems to be a white "headband" inside that falls away from the hat and both of these are ignored by that cop and the succeeding ones.
When Shannon and T.S. are waiting for the elevator, the extra standing right behind Shannon keeps looking at the camera.
Early in the movie TS tells Brodie that callow means "frightened and weak-willed", when in fact it means inexperienced and/or immature.
The stereogram they're looking at in the movie contains basic shapes, spheres, stars, etc., but the characters state they're seeing a sailboat.
At the game show the third contestant says he would take Brandi to an opera, i.e. Die Fledermaus. This is not an opera but an operetta.
When T.S. first pulls into Brandi's driveway, he drives a Ford. After that, he drives a Mercury.
When T.S. pulls up to Brandi's house to pick her up for the trip, all the trees have leaves on them and the grass is green. In all other outdoor shots, the leaves have fallen off the trees and the grass is brown.
When T.S. and Brodie arrive back at the mall, they park up next to a green car. When the angle changes, they are parked next to a black pickup.
Jared Svennings' ring switches from his left to right hand soon before Brodie gives him the "stinky palm."
Right before Rene breaks up with Brodie, she opens the basement window all the way so that it's touching the ceiling. The window is no longer completely open as she leaves. (In a deleted scene, we see that it keeps sliding shut, but not in the released version of the movie).
When Jay and Silent Bob are running from La Fours, they stumble into the loading docks. When Silent Bob pulls out his grappling hook gun, he isn't wearing any gloves. When he and Jay get pulled up, Silent Bob is wearing black gloves.
The 3D picture is not a sailboat but three rows of various 3D objects. From left to right, top row they are: diamond, sphere, diamond, and star. The last item from middle row looks to be a beach ball. And finally the bottom row is a series of four 3-D undulations.
After the stink palm incident Mr. Svenning becomes ill and Roddy explains that he came down with a sudden case of diphtheria. Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract infection and would not cause excessive vomiting.
In the "Truth or Date" game show, Suitor #3 is introduced as a student at Rutgers majoring in Greek Mythology. There is no such major; he could major in the Classics and that would include studying Greek Mythology, as well as several similar classes. Rutgers offers a major in the Arts and Sciences but not specifically the Classics.
When Brodie and TS first arrive at the mall, the license plates on the cars state New Jersey, then the remainder show Minnesota.
During the closing it says the T.S. and Brandy get married at Universal Studios Florida. However the Jaws ride shown is the one at Universal Hollywood.

Brodie: You fuckers think just because a guy reads comics he can't start some shit? <BR>
Brodie: Lois could never have Superman's baby. Do you think her fallopian tubes could handle his sperm? I guarantee he blows a load like a shotgun right through her back. What about her womb? Do you think it's strong enough to carry his child?
T.S. Quint: Sure, why not?
Brodie: He's an alien, for Christ sake. His Kyrptonian biological makeup is enhanced by Earth's yellow sun. If Lois gets a tan, the kid could kick right through her stomach. Only someone like Wonder Woman has a strong enough uterus to carry his kid. The only way he could bang regular chicks is with a Kryptonite condom, but that would kill him.
Shannon Hamilton: You wanna say something?
Brodie: Yeah. About a million things, but I can't express myself monosyllabically enough for you to understand 'em all.
Stan Lee: You know, I think you ought to get him some help. He seems to be really hung up on super heroes' sex organs.
Brodie: After all he's done to you, you should still kinda stick it to him.
T.S. Quint: How do you propose I do that?
Brodie: You stinkpalm him.
T.S. Quint: Stinkpalm?
Brodie: You take your hand and stick it in your ass like this. You been walkin' all day and you're nervous, so no doubt you'll be sweaty as hell.
T.S. Quint: You should see yourself right now, a grown man with his hand down his pants.
Brodie: Yeah i probably look like my old man. So you shake hands with the guy, "Hello Mr. Svenning how have you been?"
T.S. Quint: Whats the point?
Brodie: You know how long it takes for that smell to come off? Scrub all you want, it'll stick around for at least two days. How does he explain it to his colleagues and family? They'll think he doesn't know how to wipe his ass properly.
T.S. Quint: Meanwhile you yourself are left with a hand that smells like shit.
Brodie: Small price to pay for the smiting of one's enemies.
Little Girl: [looking at a Magic Eye poster] Wow. It's a schooner.
Willam Black: Ha ha ha ha. You dumb bastard. It's not a schooner... it's a Sailboat.
Little Boy: A schooner IS a sailboat stupid head!
Willam Black: [becoming enraged] You know what? There is NO Easter Bunny! Over there, that's just a guy in a suit!
Brandi: Suitor number 3, is your kiss like a soft breeze, a firm handshake or a jackhammer?
Gil Hicks: Definitely a jackhammer, I'm in there with some pressure and when I'm done, you're not the same as before. You're changed.
Brodie: Where do you come up with this shit? That's the cheesiest response to an honest question I have ever heard. I saw you kiss and it wasn't anything like that.
Bob Summers: [Chuckling] Suitor #2, you'll have to wait until you're addressed before you respond.
Brodie: Richard Dawson, why don't you just go back to your podium until it's time to play The Feud. All right?
[Audience laughs]
Gil Hicks: Who the hell did you see me kiss?
Brodie: Some dude backstage. I don't know who he was but he seemed unimpressed.
Gil Hicks: I didn't kiss any guy backstage. I swear. I'm not gay.
Brodie: Hey, Suitorette, this guys a homophobe. You heard how repulsed he sounded. Is this the kind of guy you want to spend a vacation with? This hate-monger?
Gil Hicks: I don't hate gay people.
Brodie: So you love them?
Gil Hicks: Yes. I mean no.
Brodie: Textbook closet case self-loather. Can't be comfortable with his own sexuality.
Brodie: My Grandmother always used to say "why buy the cow, when you can get the sex for free".
T.S. Quint: She didn't!
Brodie: All the time, before she became a lesbian on her 60th Birthday, but that's besides the point.
[At a Dating Game-like game show]
Brandi: Second suitor: if we were making whoopee, what sounds would you make?
Brodie: Wait, what's whoopee?
Brandi: You know, being intimate.
Brodie: What? Like fucking?
Brandi: Second suitor, would you ever make whoopie in public?
Brodie: I already did once today.
[clicks his finger at Renee]
Brodie: But my cousin Walter jerked off in public once. True story. He was on a plane to New Mexico when all of the sudden the hydraulics went. The plane started spinning around, going out of control, so he decides it's all over and whips it out and starts beating it right there. So all the other passengers take a cue from him and they start whipping it out and beating like mad. So all the passengers are beating off, plummeting to their certain doom, when all of the sudden, snap! The hydraulics kick back in. The plane rights itself and it land safely and everyone puts their pieces or, whatever, you know, away and deboard. No one mentions the phenomenon to anyone else.
Gil Hicks: [beat] Well, did he cum, or what?
Brodie: Jesus *Christ*, man! There's just some things you don't talk about in public!
Jay: Come son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod! Snootchie-bootchies. Ehehehehe!
Jay: [as Silent Bob is 'flying' across the mall towards the stage] Fly, Fatass, fly!
T.S. Quint: Haven't you ever heard the phrase "The customer is always right?"
Shannon Hamilton: Let me tell you something. Let me give you a little secret, okay.
[yells it right in T.S.' ear]
Shannon Hamilton: The customer is always an asshole!
Gwen: How is it that you recall the most trivial events?
Brodie: I'll never forget it. How many times do you get to see Smokey fuck the Bandit?
Gwen: Didn't I look just like Burt Reynolds?
Brodie, T.S. Quint: Except for the moustache.
Jay: Silent Bob here's an electrical genius. He won the science fair in eighth grade by turning his mom's vibrator into a CD player using some chicken wire and shit. The mother fucker's like MacGyver. No, the mother fucker's *better than* MacGyver.
Brodie: Hey, look at that ring. What is that?
Jared Svenning: That is, um, my Junior College class ring. Cum Laude, '69.
Brodie: I also hope to cum loud one day, preferably in a 69.
T.S. Quint: Why do palm reading topless?
Brodie: It makes the news easier to take. She could tell me I was going to die in ten minutes, just as long as she told me topless.
T.S. Quint: Your maleness amazes me sometimes.
Rene: That was too little too late.
Brodie: Too little? You said it was a good size!
Rene: The effort, you retard. The effort was too little too late.
Rene: But, now that you mention it, when a girl says its a good size, that's a nice way of saying that it's small.
Brodie: I call you all time!
Rene: "Rene, my mom's asleep. Come over." You call that romantic? When was the last time you pulled out my chair, or told me I was beautiful?
Brodie: And this guy does all this in a day?
Rene: This guy already introduced me to his mother.
Willam Black: When Lord? When the hell do I get to see the goddamn sailboat?
Stan Lee: [Remarking on a happy couple in a store window] They look happy don't they?
Brodie: I suppose, as far as couples go.
Stan Lee: You know, it reminds me of an issue of Spider-man I did. When Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy went lingerie shopping. Of course, the Green Goblin showed up, and he pumpkin-bombed the hell out of the place. But aside from that, it's pretty much the same thing.
Brodie: Oh, my god... *holy shit*! Aren't you...
Stan Lee: Oh, Stan Lee, hi.
Brodie: Tell me, did you ever fart in front of her?
T.S. Quint: No, why do you ask?
Brodie: I never farted in front of Renee. Not once. Last week, I let one slip and today she dumps me.
T.S. Quint: You think that's why Renee dumped you? Come on, she's not the shallow type. You're not insinuating...
Brodie: She was going down on me at the time.
T.S. Quint: [Retches]
Brodie: What can I say, I was feeling very relaxed, when I'm relaxed I squirt.
T.S. Quint: If all she did was dump you, you got off light.
Shannon Hamilton: Smart-ass ex-boyfriend! I've got two things to tell you. One: I don't like you. I see you every week in this mall. I don't like you shiftless layabouts. You're one of those loser fucking mallrat kids. You don't come to the mall to shop or work. You hang out all day, act like you fucking live here. Well, I have no respect for people with no shopping agenda.
Brodie: Is this what's known as motivated salesmanship?
[Shannon Hamilton beats up Brodie]
Shannon Hamilton: Rene told me to leave you alone, but she's fucking clueless. The newly single always feel a bit protective of the ex-boyfriend.
Brodie: If this is her idea of protective, I'd hate to have her mad at me.
Shannon Hamilton: You see, Bruce, I like to pick up girls on the rebound from a disappointing relationship. They're much more in need of solace and they're fairly open to suggestion. And, I use that to fuck them some place very uncomfortable.

Mallrats Written by Joe Sib, Loomis, Burdie Cutlas (as Dave Georgeff), Soda Pop (as Soda) Performed by Wax Courtesy of Interscope Records<BR>
Smoke Two Joints Written by Chris Kay, Michael A. Kay Performed by Sublime Courtesy of Skunk Records/Gasoline Alley, J.V.
Web in Front Written & Performed by Archers of Loaf Courtesy of Alias Records, Inc.
Funbusters written by Bradley James & Stewart James courtesy of Zomba Music Services
Social Written by Mass Giorgini, Flaviano Giorgini, Daniel Lumley, Matthew Hart Performed by Squirtgun Courtesy of Lookout Records LLC
Hated It Written by Joel Plaskett Performed by Thrush Hermit Courtesy of Murderecords
Build Me Up Buttercup Written by Tony Macaulay, Mike d'Abo (as Mike D'Abo) Performed by The Goops Courtesy of Blackout! Records
Broken Written by Tanya Donelly Performed by Belly Courtesy of Reprise Records/4AD By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Cruise Your New Baby Fly Self Written & Performed by Girls Against Boys Courtesy of Touch & Go Records
Guilty Written by Bill Stevenson Performed by All Courtesy of Cruz Records
Line Up Written by Justine Frischmann Performed by Elastica Courtesy of DGC Records
Boogie Shoes Written by Harry Wayne Casey (as Harry W. Casey), Richard Finch Performed by KC & The Sunshine Band Courtesy of Rhino Records By arrangment with Warner Special Products
Seventeen Written & Performed by Sponge Courtesy of The Work Group By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Stoned Written by Daniel Johns, Ben Gillies Performed by Silverchair (as silverchair) Courtesy of murmur/Epic Records
Easy Beat Written by Malcolm Lockyer Courtesy of Zomba Music Services
Dry Martini Written by Howard Pfeifer Courtesy of Killer Tracks Music Library
Garota de Ipanema Written by Vinicius de Moraes (as Vinicius DeMoraes), Antonio Carlos Jobim
Lollipops and Roses Written by Anthony Velona (as Tony Velona)
Bubbles Written by Gavin Rossdale Performed by Bush Courtesy of Trauma Records
Susanne Written by Rivers Cuomo Performed by Weezer Courtesy of DGC Records
Funbusters Written by Bradley James, Stewart James Courtesy of Zomba Music Services

Frequently Asked Questions
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shannen Doherty ... Rene
Jeremy London ... TS Quint
Jason Lee ... Brodie
Claire Forlani ... Brandi
Ben Affleck ... Shannon
Joey Lauren Adams ... Gwen
Renée Humphrey ... Tricia
Jason Mewes ... Jay
Ethan Suplee ... Willam
Stan Lee ... himself
Priscilla Barnes ... Ivannah
Michael Rooker ... Svenning
Carol Banker ... Security Guard
Steven Blackwell ... Arresting Cop #2
Kyle Boe ... Pull Toy Kid

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