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USA 2016
Directed by
Kevin Smith
88 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Chris Thompson
2 stars

Yoga Hosers

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old yoga fanatics ‘the Colleens’ a.k.a. Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) both have after-school jobs at a Canadian convenience store called Eh-2-Zed. When they’re rostered to work the same night as a really big party, they decide to invite hunky senior student Hunter Calloway (Austin Butler) to bring the party to the store.  But when Hunter turns up with his dim-witted friend Gordon Greenleaf (Tyler Posey) the girls realise that their heartthrobs are, in fact, Satanists hell bent on sacrificing these two virgins. But there’s an even greater threat lurking beneath the store; the Bratzis (Kevin Smith playing an army of sausage-sized Fuhrer clones engineered from Nazi DNA and bratwursts). To survive, the Colleens must join forces with legendary Montreal man-hunter, Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) to foil the rise of the Fourth Reich.

Kevin Smith made a name for himself in 1994 with his cult hit slacker-comedy Clerks, but, sadly, he seems to bring a touch of that slackness to the writing of his new film, the second instalment of the so-called True North Trilogy that began in 2014 with Tusk. That’s not to say that there isn’t some enjoyment in the mad and anarchic story he has to tell. There are some really great elements here: the parodic take on yoga culture with the guru, Yogi Bayer (Justin Long), not understanding why Hanna Barbara might be accusing him of breeching copyright, and why changing his name to BooBoo Bayer won’t solve the problem; the hilariously stupid notion that Hitler might have sent a secret Nazi force to Canada in advance of an invasion; the totally bizarre idea that an interrupted biological experiment in manufacturing a legion of bratwurst-based Nazi clones might prevent this new Aryan army from developing into anything more than fanatically murderous sausages; the merciless digs at Canadian politeness and accents (“sorry aboot that”), etc. All these ideas are, of themselves, quite funny, but lack a really unifying force to hold them together.

Lily-Rose Depp (Johnny’s daughter) and Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin’s daughter) give sharp and sassy performances poking fun at youth culture and elevating the film beyond being a vanity project for the two dads. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Depp senior who again dons the prosthetic nose, wandering facial moles and meandering accent for the decidedly unfunny Guy Lapointe. It’s hard not to feel that he’d have done better to stand aside and let his daughter bring some cachet back to the Depp name.

On the other hand, Smith seems to relish playing the multiple villain roles giving maniacal facial expressions to the battalion of helmeted bratwursts whose means of attack require forced bodily entry through an orifice somewhat further south than the mouth. And just to cement the film’s comic book style, there’s a neat little cameo from Stan Lee as the local copper (and this film isn’t even part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!). But many of the other younger cast members, like Butler’s psycho-killer-devil-worshipper, just don’t seem to have the exaggerated wackiness to produce the over-the-top level of performance these ideas need to succeed and, as a result, the highlights of the film are not quite high enough to help us over the low points.

Still, there were enough laughs in the stronger moments to send me home feeling like the night hadn’t been a total waste of time. But when the post credit James-Bond-style promise that ‘The Colleens Will Return in Moose Jaws’ rolled onto screen I can’t say that I could see myself going back for more.




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