Movie Review: Yoga Hosers (2016)

Do you think Kevin Smith's films are funny? In September 2016, I thought so, until I saw this one.

Directing 88-minute comedy/fantasy/horror is Kevin Smith.

Some of the cast is: Harley Quinn Smith as Colleen McKenzie, Lily-Rose Depp as Colleen Collette, Johnny Depp as Guy LaPointe, Justin Long as Yogi Bayer, Ralph Garman as Andronicus Arcane and Kevin Smith as The Bratzis. With a cameo by Stan Lee as 911 Dispatch.

Store clerks and besties, Colleen (Collette) and Colleen (McKenzie) are two teenagers that spend their time together doing stuff like yoga, texting, working at the store (when they have to). Now the
girls get to add to that list, saving Canada from an ancient Nazi evil that has been peacefully sleeping... until now.
For those that don't know, Yoga Hosers is the second movie in a three pack film project Smith calls the True North Trilogy. The trilogy started with a film called Tusk (2014), then Yoga Hosers (2016) and the final installment will be called... Moose Jaws.

You know, I  remember back in the day when Smith was still making good films like Clerks (1994) or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001). Now, I haven't seen Red State (2011). So, the last really good film I saw Smith drop was back in 2008 with Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Back then his writing was witty, funny, raunchy and sometimes even thought-provoking. However, those trademarks are something I've not been able to find in Smith's last round of films. Now, to be fair, Smith has been quoted saying he's making movies for "him and his fans" and his work probably won't be liked by everyone, especially the critics. Well, if his last two films are any indication to what Smith's future films are going to be like, I guess... I'm not a fan anymore.

The story that Kevin Smith came up with is... well, pretty stupid. Smith used the two 15-year-old store clerks from the first movie (Tusk) and came up with a reason to wrap an entire movie around them. For 88 minutes you get to watch them play on their phones, be rude to almost everyone around them (except each other), listen to 3 songs the girls sing and have a showdown with the bad guy at the end. And if you're like me, for 80 of those minutes you might be sitting there wondering what happened to Smith to make his career go so far south.

The playthrough is rough. I had a lot of trouble making it through to the credits. The "humor" that Smith tries to inject into the story (most of the time) just isn't funny. There's no real witty banter in the script and the characters are either lame or not interesting. One of the many, many problems I had with this one was the poor pace of the film. As far as the movies playthrough the pace is all over the place. As soon as Smith get things moving in the story he suddenly takes breaks. Like at one point Smith turns the film into a music video and the audience is "treated" to the Colleens sing a song, then it's back to the story. There are a few jokes that weren't that funny in the first place, but Smith keeps going back to the joke, which ends up dragging the film down even more.

One of the things Smith is doing with the trilogy (besides thinning out his fan base) is reusing the cast. So far we've seen the return of Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Ralph Garman. Even though some of these faces are returning from movie one to movie two, with the exception of both Depps and Smith who keep their characters, the rest of the returning cast all play different characters this time around.

Speaking of the cast. I can't say the failing movie was all their faults. You can only do so much with a bad script and crappy characters. However, some fault does land in their laps when it's all said and done. I'm not gonna bash on the Depp/Smith girls because they're young and haven't done a lot of acting. Should they have been the lead stars to carry the movie... no. Do they have potential? Depp, yeah, with a few years and more gigs behind her she could possibly keep the Depp name famous in the industry. Whereas Smith might want to follow more in dad's footsteps and see what her skill set is behind the camera. Johnny Depp's "kooky" character, Guy LaPointe, has been amped up a bit more than the last time we saw him. Now, not only does LaPointe get more screen time (cause every movie needs more Depp, right?), but he also gets a bit dumbed down and annoying.

Even though there is quite a bit of (bad) CGI work done in this one, I have no idea why this movie had (or used) a budget of $5 million.  The only thing I can think of is Smith paid Johnny Depp like $4 million dollars for his part. Then with the $1 million left over Smith took the cast and crew out to eat (cause he's a nice guy) and then used whatever money was left over to make the movie. That's the only thing that makes sense to me because nothing about this movie screams it needed (or had) a big budget to work with. One of the few things that I actually liked about this movie was the big monster (Goalie Golem) at the end of the movie was kind of cool looking. However, The Bratzis (foot tall Canadian Nazi's made of sentient Bratwurst) villains were seriously lame and as much as they were supposed to be comedic relief for the scenes, it didn't work.

Overall, do yourself a favor and skip this one. If you're jonesing for a Smith film, watch Chasing Amy or Dogma and reminisce to the good ol' days when Smith's films were still entertaining.

It's rated PG-13 for violence.

2 star

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