Set in the Great White North of Canada, YOGA HOSERS tells the story of Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie – two teenage besties from Winnipeg who spend their lives doing Yoga with their faces in their phones, ‘Liking’ or ‘Not Liking’ the real world around them. But when these Sophomore girls are invited to a Senior party by the school hottie, the Colleens accidentally uncover an ancient evil, long buried beneath the Manitoba earth.
In what can only be described as the nadir of Kevin Smith’s sometimes storied career, his latest film, Yoga Hosers, posits that a regiment of small Nazi sausages (aka: Bratzi’s. You’re reading this correctly by the way), are killing people by drilling themselves up their assholes. Meanwhile, The Coleen’s (called that because their first names are Colleen), McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Collette (Lily Rose-Depp) are dealing with their dull and mundane lives by working at a convenience mart, and performing with their band. Luckily, they’ve just been invited to a party by two High School seniors. Unluckily, the seniors plan to sacrifice them to the devil. Smith (Who also wrote the script) decided to keep both of these two plot points completely separate from each other. Since both of them suck harder than a Dyson, I’m guessing he did this because he had no idea of what else to do with his ideas. Although he could’ve done everyone a favor and just not have made this movie.
The title, Yoga Hosers, shows how bad it’s gotten for Smith and his once fervent imagination. “Yoga” comes from the girls love for yoga lessons, which are taught by a man named Yogi Bayer (Justin Long). If you don’t get the joke there, try saying the name over a few times. Do you get it now? Is it funny yet? The “Hosers” part threw me for a while, but in the end I think it’s all in tribute to 1983’s Strange Brew. That film, while funny, reveled in Canadian stereotypes like saying “Aboot“, and “Eh“. The McKenzie Brothers (Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis), also called each other “Hoser” an awful lot. Sadly, I don’t think anyone that wastes their time with this film is gonna be all too familiar with that film. Hell, I’ll bet that most Canadians don’t remember Strange Brew at all. So this is a case of Smith taking something that he thinks is funny, and trying to force feed it down his (rapidly dwindling) audiences throat.
The performances are all about as one note as they can possibly be. Although both Harley Smith (Kevin’s daughter) and Lily Rose-Depp are likable and earnest enough to like them here, the script gives them so little to do but be annoying that I ended up hating them. It’s worth noting that they appeared in the same roles in Smith’s last film, Tusk (2014), although in a diminished capacity. They weren’t much better there, but the film didn’t revolve around them, so that aspect of it didn’t really hurt. But they’re the focal point of Yoga Hosers, and I can honestly say that a little bit of these two goes a long way, as they’re both extremely grating after a few minutes. Making matters even worse, Lily’s dad, Johnny Depp, returns as private Detective Guy LaPointe. He too was featured in a cameo in Tusk, and rather than tone the characterization down, Depp notches it up a bit. The makeup he wears still reminds me of a rejected Inspector Clouseau idea from any of Peter Sellers Pink Panther films, and his accent is nearly indecipherable at times to boot. Smith plays The Bratzi’s himself, and while he might look good for a second or three as a small creature that gets its kicks from going up someone’s ass, his creatures get a good look from anyone who sees this film, and they look patently ridiculous. There are a few quick cameos here from people like Natasha Lyonne, Haley Joel Osment and Vanessa Paradis (Lili Rose’s mother), but they’re all pretty much “Blink and you’ll miss us” type of fare.
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I’m a fan of Kevin Smith or his films, but I do like a few of them quite a bit. Clerks (1994), Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Red State (2011) are all films from him that I enjoyed a great deal. But other of his films like Mallrats (1995), Clerks II (2006), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008) and the execrable Cop Out (2010), prove that not everything he touches turns to gold (or even silver or bronze for that matter). What Yoga Hosers really feels like is a vanity piece made only to give his daughter and her best friend some experience, give his friends a job for a few weeks, and to satisfy his obviously immense ego. It isn’t funny, scary, topical or relatable to anything besides whatever passes for interesting in his mind. His one attempt to give it a dash of visual flair by giving each character an introduction with some Instagram-ish graphics on screen, but they do nothing but clutter the screen and annoy.
Nothing in Yoga Hosers is interesting. Nothing in it is funny. In fact, Yoga Hosers is essentially one big nothing of a film that’ll do nothing but make you wonder what made Kevin Smith such a big deal a few years ago. It’s the worst film of his career, but he’s making a sequel to it! The third film of his ‘True North‘ trilogy is to be called Moose Jaws, and is exactly what it sounds like: a take off on Jaws with a moose replacing the shark. Oh joy…
After sitting through Yoga Hosers, I can honestly say that the only thing even mildly interesting about Kevin Smith’s next film is that it might be the one to end his career in film making.
Yoga Hosers – Zero out of five shrouds.