Um… Mister Kevin Smith? Exactly how high were you when you wrote this script? I saw the trailer to your movie and… did I make the mistake of being 200 percent sober? My brain can’t possibly fathom what the fuck it is I just witnessed… and I honestly can’t fucking wait to see this! Oh my god, it looks so stupid, that it’s enjoyable.
Yeah, so K. Smith (whom I will be referencing as since his daughter will be talked about) is back on Final Draft and yelling action with his latest movie that seriously has me going, “What the fuck?” In the lead roles are Harley Quinn Smith, his daughter (will be referenced as H. Smith), and Lily-Rose Depp (referenced as L. Depp), Johnny Depp’s daughter. Both have briefly worked with each other in K. Smith’s previous film, TUSK (2014). Co-starring alongside these lovely ladies are Johnny Depp (referenced as J. Depp), who needs no introduction, Justin Long (LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD , DODGEBALL , and the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies), Austin Butler (TV shows THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES, ARROW, and NED’S DECLASSIFIED SCHOOL SURVIVAL GUIDE), Tony Hale (ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: ROAD CHIP , AMERICAN ULTRA , and TV show CHUCK), Natasha Lyonne (this year’s THE INTERVENTION, BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER , and TV show ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK), and many more.
Now for the crew. K. Smith is directing and writing, as usual. Let me be honest here, I’m not his biggest fan. Not because I’ve never liked his work, but I’ve never liked his work as much as everyone else seems to. I sure liked CLERKS (1994), and DOGMA (1999), and even JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (2001). But he’s never been that guy I was crazy about. I’d be interested in his work, but never hyped. I guess I always just saw him as a pop culture icon and spokesman, a generally likable and funny guy who liked everything that nerds of today like. To this day, one of my favorite things he’s done was his podcast with his buddy Ralph Garman talking about THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I still piss myself listening to those guys. I should really follow his work more. But yeah, bottom line, I like K. Smith, I don’t love him like his fanbase does, but he’s a cool dude and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit hyped for this one. Composing this film is Christopher Drake. He composed for Smith once before in TUSK, but he’s primarily associated with the animated DC movies, like, WONDER WOMAN (2009) and BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD (2010), as well as DC video games, like, BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS, INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US, and is returning for the upcoming INJUSTICE 2. Score one for the nerd in me.
I didn’t look at this trailer thinking it’d be a good movie, but I was utterly eager to be entertained by this bat-shit insanity. How did it do? This is my honest opinion of YOGA HOSERS.
Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) are two Canadian teenagers who live a very “basic” life, going to school and working at the Eh-2-ZED convenient store. But then one fateful night, the cutest boy from school, Hunter Calloway (Austin Butler), invites the two of them to a senior party, to which they are ecstatic to attend. But the owner of the ZED and Colleen C’s father, Bob (Tony Hale), and his girlfriend/manager of the ZED, Tabitha (Natasha Lyonne), are going to the States for a road trip and need the girls to watch over the ZED that night. Infuriated, their boring night doesn’t last as mysterious and grizzly murders around town begin cropping up made by violent little Nazi sausage men, called Bratzis, a genetic result of Canada’s own Nazi “fuhrer” during World War II, coming from beneath the ZED. With the help of the crazy, but experienced hunter Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp), they must defend the ZED as well as their town, being targeted for destruction.
If you read that summary and thought to yourself the exact same thing I did going into this movie, then it’s about as stupid and nuts as it sounds and I absolutely loved it.
Let me start off with how much fun both L. Depp and H. Smith were together. Not only do they have great chemistry, but for a pair of young actresses with not much work under their belts, they brought a surprising amount of energy to their performances, making them incredibly fun to watch and root for. I doubt K. Smith had it in mind to make them role models, as they aren’t exactly developed characters. But then again, in a movie like this, who gives a shit? We just want to see weird and stupid crap happen, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t charmed by both Colleens’ over the top personalities. I think what makes them work for me is that they’re just over-exaggerated teenagers. They’re not mean-spirited about much, they’re just stupid teenagers obsessed with their phones and going to parties. They don’t do anything that makes them unlikable, at least, not that I remember. Although, I might say that H. Smith is a little more of the scene-stealer. Maybe that was unintentional, given that she’s the daughter of the director, but that’s not to say that L. Depp was boring. Both steal the show, and because they are the show, it totally works.
Also, I gotta voice a funny little story. If you feel compelled to make fun of me, you have my blessings. So I knew that J. Depp was going to be in it. I spent the entire movie waiting for him to show up, you know, as someone recognizable. But as soon as the credits were rolling, I got confused, having not seen him in the movie. Later on, it would finally hit me. The actor playing Guy Lapointe was J. Depp. Oh my god, I felt so stupid. I spent the entire time looking for him when he was right in front of me the entire time. Trying to look for the obvious, which for me wasn’t obvious, which in retrospect should have been obvious! *face palm* But yeah, this is the first time in a long time that I wasn’t annoyed by a performance by him. I never really claimed to be a fan of J. Depp, but he’s had movies that I liked and given performances I’ve enjoyed. FINDING NEVERLAND (2004), CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (2003), and SECRET WINDOW (2004) come to mind. But for every good movie he’s done with great performances, he’s had more that have annoyed me. The Pirates sequels, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2005), and the live action Alice in Wonderland films being the final nails in the coffin for me. But for all the lame performances I’ve witnessed, this one actually kind of felt fresh and different. He’s like a crazy homeless bum that almost seems the most lucid of everyone in this little Canadian town. As I understand it, this movie is actually the second installment of a trilogy that K. Smith is working on and Guy Lapointe was in TUSK, the first installment. I would not mind checking it out just to see how J. Depp does in that.
I’m also extraordinarily tickled by the cameos and bit parts that Smith roped in. Haley Joel Osment? Hell of a far-cry from his “I see dead people” days. Stan Lee? This is almost as random as his cameo in THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2 (2004). A welcomed bit of randomness, but still random. And by all that is holy and sacred, Kevin mother fucking Conroy?! THE Kevin mother fucking Conroy?! How?! Just… how?! You know what, don’t answer me. I don’t care. Conroy has a cameo. It’s glorious, it’s hilarious, but if there’s one thing that K. Smith deserves a lashing for, it’s this: how fucking dare you, sir, to have a Conroy cameo, but neither hide nor hair of the Mark mother fucking Hamill. SHAME ON YOU, SIR!!! A POX ON YOU!!! A POX, I SAY!!! Oh, “he was working on Star Wars” you’d say? NO EXCUSES!!! WE DON’T TAKE KINDLY TO EXCUSES IN THIS HERE REVIEW!!! And Ralph Garman. Oh Ralph. Oh dear sweet lovable Ralph… I don’t know you that well, sir, but I really wish I did. Your Canadian Nazi doing impersonations was just so silly, I fell in love. With your voice, sir! Just your voice! No homo!
I suppose if there’s any real downside that I saw with the movie is that the non-crazy moments feel like they drag a bit and certain scenes feel like steal the show for no reason. But those are pretty far inbetween and aren’t memorable enough to really count against it.
Look, you all read the summary and probably saw the trailer. It’s summed up pretty well in that. If you’re going into this expecting a smart comedy in the same vein as CLERKS or DOGMA, seriously, direct your attention elsewhere if you’re not in the mood for a “so stupid, it’s funny” movie. I know all these hoity toity critics and high-end websites, newspapers, and professional reviewers will take a nice fat shit on this movie, but… I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t know how Canadians would necessarily feel about it, but then again, maybe they acknowledge that this movie is just played for fun, it’s not a representation of how American’s see Canadians, it’s just a dumb little movie with some enjoyable performances by the leading ladies. I know I’m in the VAST minority here, but I had a fun time with it and I would happily see it again. Maybe not all the way in Hollywood, but if it makes a round to a theatre closer to me, I’d definitely check it out. But that’s just me. If you watch this trailer and thought it looks too stupid, then the product as a whole won’t change your mind. Don’t see it if you don’t want to, but if it looks like it’s up your alley, I say go for it.
My honest rating for YOGA HOSERS: 5/5
- THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS