At some point in the last few years, Kevin Smith entered a curious phase in his career. The one-time kid from Jersey started out as living proof that anyone with a point of view and a bunch of maxed-out credit card could break into Hollywood. His Clerks characters were relatable, products of the slacker generation. Their pop-culture-laced banter was how movie geeks told themselves they talked. Now, Smith seems to have soured to the idea of making films for anyone outside his circle of fans, podcast co-hosts, and family members. Yoga Hosers, the latest feature-length podcast digression from Smith, proves how small that circle really is.
The movie stars the writer-director’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and Lily-Rose Depp—guess who her dad is—spinning-off their roles from Tusk, the tongue-in-cheek body-horror flick that failed to justify a follow-up by any metric that exists outside the padded walls of the SModcast recording studio. Smith and Depp play the Colleens, two teenage Canadian convenience store clerks who do typical teenager things (as observed by a 46-year-old man) like describing things as “basic,” browsing social media, and being ignorant.
Oh! And they talk funny. It cannot be stressed enough just how silly the Colleens and the Canucks around them speak. Smith hangs most of Yoga Hosers on the hilarity of ooo‘s and eh‘s, so here’s to hoping that joke from South Park‘s early years still tickles you.
Having previously helped rescue a man-turned-walrus, the Colleens are now faced with a different form of evil in bad special effects makeup. For reasons that are never justified beyond Smith and his buddies finding it funny, it turns out that their convenience store, the Eh-to-Z (get it?) was built on top of a secret stronghold for the Canadian National Socialist party. At the end of World War II, the leader of these North American Nazis hatched a plan to clone himself via little men made out of sausage, which then come to life and attack the Colleens.
Charitably, Smith portrays all of the so-called Bratzis himself.
Helping the Colleens with their sausage problem is Lily-Rose’s dad, Johnny, reprising his Tusk role, mustachioed investigator Guy Lapointe. Depp does what he can with the dopey part—which meets his recent acting prerequisites of involving a false nose and a hat—but he’s mostly there as a chaperone.
Somehow by the end, Smith spins all of these disparate elements into a takedown of cultural criticism, a preemptive strike against an inevitable avalanche of negative reviews. Hence there is very little purpose to reviewing Yoga Hosers.
How could I possibly appreciate art that wasn’t tailor made to appeal to my interests? I’m not an indie filmmaker who built a career on lively characters and witty dialogue peppered with Star Wars and Batman references, only to be pilloried years later by the critics that championed my early work. I don’t have a daughter, who I no doubt love and for whom I wish to provide a platform. And even if I did, she probably wouldn’t have a friend with a ultra-famous dad, who I could then convince to participate in a movie starring our daughters.
I am not Kevin Smith, so what business do I have sharing my opinion of Yoga Hosers with anyone? And the same goes for you. Unless you’re Kevin Smith, don’t expect Yoga Hosers to be funny or clever or well directed. It isn’t for you. D-