This month's Kevin Smith catch-up wraps up with one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen. I tend to cut Kevin a lot of slack, as he's an incredibly likable, inspiring, and does better on catering to his fans than critics. The dude's not out there to win an Oscar, he's out there to make his fans happy, and push potential filmmakers to just go for it. All that said, however, I really can't give this one to him, and to perhaps no one's real surprise, I'm on the negative side of it. Indeed, this was one of those movies I very nearly walked away from in the middle of it.
We follow the two clerks from 'Tusk', Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith); two teenage girls who study yoga with their teacher, Yogi Bayer (Justin Long), work for the Eh-2-Zed convenience store, and spend a lot of their spare time rocking out in their band, Glamthrax. They are invited to a senior party by Colleen M's crush, Hunter (Austin Butler) and his friend, Gordon (Tyler Posey). Eventually this leads to a would-be ritual Satan-worshipping sacrifice, but all is disrupted by a bunch of (and I'm not making this up) stereotypically German Nazi bratwursts dressed in Canadian Mounty garb. These things kill the guys in a most grotesquely odd manner, and the Colleens escape, but are immediately arrested for their murders.
At school, the Colleens learned that the Nazi Party once influenced Winnipeg, and a branch of Canadian Nazis emerged from it, led by self-proclaimed Canadian Führer, Adrien Arcand (Haley Joel Osment) and his partner in crime, Andronicus Arcane (Ralph Garman). Arcand was eventually arrested, but Arcane disappeared. Of course this all leads to a weird explanation as to why the Bratzis are even a thing, and the girls are helped by Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp) who believes they are innocent, and upon acquiring Bratzi evidence, himself, helps them get to the bottom of things. And even that was almost too much explanation for a plot so strangely put together.
It's abundantly clear that this movie is a bit of a middle finger towards critics - especially when you learn what the big villainous plan is near the end. It's something Smith seems to have made special for his daughter, and his die hard fans who all have the same reason for liking it; it's stupid, goofy fun. While that may be true, speaking as a Canadian, I can honestly say they went a little too overboard with the stereotypes here. Bearing in mind that's coming from someone who can freely admit that he eats Canadian stereotypes up, that's saying something. The whole "Aboot" thing is used to an absolute fault, and knowledge of Canadian music seems a bit lost here as "Oh Canada" seems to be the front-running song throughout the film.
I further just have personal beef here, as it seemed to really be trying to be 'Scott Pilgrim vs The World' with the way it introduces characters, and a lot of visuals accompanied by quick humor. The difference is 'Scott Pilgrim' is actually much closer to what some Canadians are like. Taking place in Toronto, it seemed they clearly did their homework. This is really much more of a stereotype thing, which again is great a lot of the time, but here it felt so forced. Then I realize this is Part 2 of a trilogy ('Moose Jaws' is next) and I've gotta say, Kevin's directorial skills are fast-waning; although as a Jay & Silent Bob fan, I did still like 'Reboot', which was a great way to cater to his fans after this one.
I think it's pretty safe to say that 'Yoga Hosers' is where Smith hits his rock bottom. I didn't like 'Tusk' a whole lot either, but at least I laughed in certain spots. This just didn't really give me anything, and I'd consider Guy LaPointe the only real saving grace. But I'm not about to rip apart Harley or Lily, as they are still a couple of fresh face to the industry and we all need to start somewhere. Harley has already been put in a Tarantino film ('Once Upon a Time in Hollywood') and Lily-Rose seems to be doing okay in the Indie film circuit. I hope to see them both make it, but as far as this particular film goes, it's a bit of a blotch on their resumes. I still love Kevin Smith, consider this a simple weak point in his career. Every director has something like that, eventually. His biggest fans know and love him best for his Jersey movies, so as long as we still have those, we're in good shape.