Yoga Hosers (2016)

yogahosers2016Once upon a time, Kevin Smith decided that he liked “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” so much that he’d copy the cliff notes and paste them on to a recycled fossil of his former glory in the shape of “Clerks” and build himself a brand spankin’ new cult classic. Instead what we get is a movie pandering to teens that is very obviously made by a fifty year old man if he were trying to write like Diablo Cody. I imagine Kevin Smith spent much of his time writing his screenplay for “Yoga Hosers” and promising to cast daughter Harley Quinn in it if she helped with the dialogue and much of the modern colloquialisms. Meanwhile he stuck to what he knew: which is stuff about convenience store clerks, and mocking Canada wholesale. There are shelves of maple syrup in the background, and boxes of cereal like “Cheeri-EHs.” Plus, our two main characters begin their work shift (almost in a subliminal apology to the audience) muttering in repetition “Sawrry Aboot That.”

Most of “Yoga Hosers” is about stuffing friends and family of Smith’s and Johnny Depp’s front and center, on camera, all the while tossing a lot of humor at the wall to see if anything sticks. The movie is essentially all about the pair of characters the Colleens, both of whom are blond, vapid, manipulative, and self obsessed, but—you know—have good hearts when the chips are down. Smith makes it his number one priority to spotlight everything stars Lily Rose-Depp and daughter Harley Quinn Smith can do. The pair of girls even break the fourth wall twice to perform full length songs including a cover of Styx’ “Babe I Love You.” Smith builds up the movie like a demented teen comedy with a lot of the horror elements reduced to a miniscule afterthought. The Colleens are going to a senior party, they’re left to work at the store “Eh to Zed” thanks to Colleen C. (Depp)’s father leaving town, they decide to have the party in store, and things get moronic.

Johnny Depp appears yet again to stomp on his career, playing the Quebec detective Guy Lapointe (who we last saw in “Tusk”) to help the Colleens investigate weird goings on in their convenience store. Smith squeezes in this odd plot point about the Colleens’ object of affection suddenly being a Satanist. This would have allowed for a much more interesting horror comedy, but Smith very sloppily tosses that out in favor of sentient Nazi sausages that kill their victims by violently forcing themselves up their rectums. And in case you didn’t quite get what Smith was going for here, he does a lot of explaining—and I mean a lot of explaining–the concept to lead in to the finale. This involves a Nazi who can perform terrible celebrity impressions at the drop of a hat, and plans to bring to life a Canadian monster to kill all critics.

Smith likely giggled over his script while writing this and high fived Johnny Depp over bong shots while explaining this “artistic” revenge on everyone who’d ever said nasty things about “Dark Shadows,” or “Transcendence,” or “Jersey Girl.” It’s kind of amazing how something this banal was made by someone journalists once proclaimed the face of indie film. Nothing about “Yoga Hosers” is remotely genuine or entertaining, and a lot of what Smith tries to sell is pushed in the background in favor of the pair of teen stars, and yet another whiny entitled diatribe about how mean and evil critics are.