Director: Kevin Smith
In Theaters: 07.29
My introduction to Kevin Smith began when my older brother rented Clerks. The Mallrats soundtrack was the first CD I ever bought on my own, Weezer’s “Suzanne” still fills me with nostalgia, and Chasing Amy helped me navigate my college relationships. The View Askewniverse was present at some of my most pivotal moments—watching them was a sign that not only was geek culture present and powerful, but that a filmmaker somehow understood me on an elemental level.
On this foundation, it was easy to excuse Smith flops like Jersey Girl and Red State. My Smith love even justified watching Tusk. That said, Yoga Hosers was painful. My heart kept making that pitiful yelp that Mathesar uttered when he realized that Captain Taggart was just a washed-up actor.
Those familiar with Tusk know that it’s the first in Smith’s True North trilogy, and Yoga Hosers is more of a traditional sequel than are other films in Smith canon. Smith revisits Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp), who had minor roles in Tusk and are here thrust into battle with a Nazi scientist (Ralph Garman) and his Bratzis, an army of sentient sausages (played by Smith himself).
I was excited to see Yoga Hosers, which I envisioned as a Clerks 2.0 with a weird horror bent. Visualizing two apathetic clerks going toe to toe with supernatural evil made me think that Smith was wandering into experimental territory while revisiting his roots. Instead, what unfolded was a roughly assembled collage of selfie jokes, awful Canadian accents, laughable visual effects and at least one vocal duet too many. I tried to justify Yoga Hosers as a film that Smith made for the Degrassi generation, but that didn’t stick—so many of the jokes were clearly targeted at an older audience. And what the hell was happening with Johnny Depp? His portrayal of Guy Lapointe in Tusk was a tad overindulgent, but his role reprisal here was just maddening.
I’m not saying that Smith needs to keep making sequels to Clerks and Mallrats. I like that he’s distanced himself from those earlier films. But Yoga Hosers made me feel the same “ick” that I felt from The Phantom Menace. Both films pinpoint that inevitable moment when an artist starts to alienate their audience in the name of pursuing a creative vision. More power to Smith for forging his own path, but I’ll be damned if I’m coming along. –Alex Springer