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Review: YOGA HOSERS

yogahosers_27x40_onesheet_c5_finalKevin Smith’s films have always had a polarizing effect to them. People either obsessively love them or unequivocally hate them but I’ve always found myself in the middle; having enjoyed his earlier stuff and feeling neutral about his later films. A few years ago it was announced that he would be doing horror films, and though I found that odd, I found myself actually enjoying his first horror-esque film RED STATE. Then came the announcement that he would be directing a film called TUSK (due to a podcast/audience dare) in which I had no idea what the film was even about – to be honest, the first time I saw the black and white poster I thought it was a Disney film. TUSK has been one of those films that I haven’t quite wrapped my head around and depending on the day I either appreciate it or really dislike it. However, this review isn’t about my feelings towards that film but my thoughts and opinions on his latest endeavor YOGA HOSERS.

As a critic it’s hard for me to review this film, not because I’m afraid of what people will think, but because of the amount of disdain that Kevin Smith has against critics that so blatantly seeps through the entire 88 minutes of YOGA HOSERS. It’s clear from the beginning that he doesn’t care what critics think of his films and that’s all fine and dandy but here’s the thing… he can hate on critics all he wants, but Smith could do it in a way in which he actually makes a good film and still get his message across, kind of like what John Waters does with his films. However, I digress, this isn’t a review on Kevin Smith and stance against critics, but a review of his film.

YOGA HOSERS is the second film in Smith’s “True North” trilogy (the first being TUSK) and stars his daughter Harley Quinn Smith along with Lily-Rose Depp, Johnny Depp, Austin Butler, Tyler Posey, Justin Long, Tony Hale, and Natasha Lyonne. The film centers around two best friends, Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie who upon discovering evil Nazi sausages, must team up with a notorious urban legend-hunter to stop the evil Canadian Nazi presence from staking their claim on their convenient store, Eh-2-Zed, and quite possibly the world. There you have it, evil Nazi sausages. In a world filled with remakes and reboots, I will give Kevin Smith credit where credit is due, in that he came up with an original concept (for the most part). However, the execution was so horrible that the film ended up being almost unwatchable.

Here’s the thing that is incredibly irritating, the acting, isn’t all that bad. Had I seen any of these actors in literally any other movie, I probably would have loved them. Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp definitely have the acting chops that they received from their parents and I would be lying if I said that I’m not excited to see their careers flourish. Johnny Depp’s character, Guy Lapointe, who we were first introduced to in TUSK, had a much larger role this time around and that’s not a positive thing. In TUSK his character was tolerable but in YOGA HOSERS he became such an annoyance that it was hard to remember that Johnny Depp is actually a great actor. The only time I found myself smiling at any point during the film was when Justin Long was on the screen. Long was the focal point in TUSK but unlike that role, he played a much smaller one here as a yoga instructor for the two Colleens. To me, his time on screen was the only saving grace of the film. Actually, I take that back, Jason Mewes had a brief cameo in the film and it was some of the best acting I’ve seen from him in years.

As for the Nazi sausages, or Bratzis as they liked to be called, I’m not sure what to say. Their high-pitched voices were like nails on a chalkboard and they were so CGI’d that it begged the question, what was the point in even having them? As I sit here typing this I’m trying to think of something positive to say about the Bratzis and I can’t. I guess the only good thing is we get to see them continuously killed, but even that had the use of over-the-top CGI.

Overall, as I’m sure you can tell, I was not a fan of this film. I respect Kevin Smith’s originality but the story was so flawed and so annoying that it was hard to really appreciate anything that we were being shown. The acting, though less than desirable, had potential and even though I didn’t like their characters in this film, I think Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp have a budding career ahead of them. All in all, I really think if Kevin Smith wanted to get across to critics and viewers alike that he doesn’t care about our opinions than I feel like he should have made a better movie. If you are a die-hard fan of Mr. Smith’s movie than you’ll appreciate all the inside jokes that the film has to offer and you may even like the movie. Don’t let my opinion sway you because something that I may not like you may love. I haven’t given up all hope on his True North Trilogy, I just hope that his next film, Moose Jaws has way more to offer.