An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder
Fans of 2002’s An Evening with Kevin Smith will find its sequel fits like a pair of well-worn slippers—it feels like Smith has taken a quick bathroom break and returned refreshed and ready to resume the same conversation. Writer-director Smith (Clerks II, Jersey Girl) is witty and holds viewer interest for most of Evening Harder’s four hours—an impressive feat, considering the film’s main attraction is Smith at a podium. Its predecessor was essentially a “best-of” compilation, showcasing bits recorded during a series of Q-and-As Smith conducted at universities—it shifted quickly from one well- honed anecdote to the next. The first disc in Evening Harder’s two-disc set features Smith’s entire Toronto Q-and-A, and the second shows one from London. For this reason, it’s spottier than the first film. Awkward pauses, tangents and misheard questions disrupt the flow. Smith’s stories were better during his first outing—it feels like he has used up his best anecdotes and is trotting out secondary material, which is unsurprising, given the two documentaries weren’t filmed long apart. But Evening Harder still amuses, and is more consistent than Smith’s recent films, suggesting he should forego donkey shows and poop monsters and focus on the dialogue even he concedes is his greatest strength.