Film #341: YOGA HOSERS
1 / 5 stars
With YOGA HOSERS, Kevin Smith (CLERKS) writes and directs the second installment in his Great North Trilogy (the first was TUSK and the last will be something called MOOSE JAWS). Essentially, all three films were conceived as the result of conversations on various episodes of Smith’s popular podcast, SMODCAST. While the episodes themselves are humorous, these films, quite frankly, are not. Misguided, over-thought, and made for seemingly only Smith himself, the films are weird, awkward, and dumb… and not in a good way. With YOGA HOSERS, we get the goofiness of JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK-era Smith with a heaping helping of nepotism thrown in with the casting of his daughter, Harley Quinn Smith. The film also stars a nearly unrecognizable Johnny Depp and Depp’s daughter, Lily Rose. Sadly, the film rests on the girl’s shoulders and that’s where it all begins to unravel. The girls simply aren’t up to the task. They’re stiff, awkward, and clearly cast because of who they are and not for any imagined acting talent. The shoe-horning of them singing (especially Styx’s “Babe” at one point) is beyond painful. Also cast are Smith’s HOLLYWOOD BABBLE-ON co-host Ralph Garman as the main villain (and BOY is he terrible – essentially recycling the five or six impersonations he’s known for) as well as Smith himself as the jaw-droppingly irritating “Brautzis.” But the main problem with YOGA HOSERS is its script and Smith’s assumption that his audience thinks every damn thing that comes out of his head is funny. In a nutshell, YOGA HOSERS script is, well… stupid and so ‘inside’ that I’m not surprised a lot of critics hated the film. The multitude of Canadian jokes are forced and obvious. The inclusion of SCOTT PILGRIM-esque video game graphics that come ten years too late (in both relevance and look) is misguided and betrays a fifty-year-old man writing scripts and dialog for teenagers and trying to be relevant. Acting is oddball and over the top and off-puttingly so. Honestly, I can’t fathom how the whole thing ever got past the podcast episode other than by Smith’s insistence. But here we are… On the plus side, the film is competently made. I mean, it looks great. Smith clearly has learned a few things making FLASH and SUPERGIRL episodes and it shows. But again… the premise and script are so predicated on the audience being in on the joke that it all falls flat if you’re not. Smith completists (if there is such a thing) and podcast fans are the only ones who will be amused by this careening mess. All others… watch ANYTHING else.