Kevin Smith is having more fun than ever with “Yoga Hosers”

yoga horses lily-rose depp and harley quinn smith
I think it’s safe to say at this point that most people have a pretty firm opinion about the films of Kevin Smith, as well as the filmmaker himself. Personally, I think he’s a hoot and actually is one of my favorite artists out there. This week, Smith unleashes Yoga Hosers into the world after a debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. As someone who enjoys his various podcasts, hearing the idea sort of birthed during one, much like with Tusk, had me eager to see it. Frankly, it doesn’t disappoint, though I freely admit this won’t be for everyone. It’s a strange beast, but kind of a perfect fit for Smith’s current interests at this point in his career.

Again, the movie is, like the aforementioned Tusk, based off of a conversation Smith had with Scott Mosier on SModcast, one of his podcasts. It actually mostly just is inspired by that chat, more directly spinning off two characters from the prior movie into their own Canadian horror comedy adventure. Teen yoga lovers Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith) and Colleen Colette (Lily-Rose Depp) spend their days texting and working at a convenience store owned by Colleen C’s father Bob (Tony Hale). When they’re not there, they’re either at school or learning from Yogi Bayer (Justin Long), though priorities will soon be changing. You see, they’ve been invited to a senior party, but also, small Nazis made of sausage (and played by Smith) have risen up under the store, created by a mad scientist (Ralph Garman) with a very unique agenda. With the help of Guy LaPointe (Johnny Depp), they wind up using their yoga knowledge to try and save the day. Chaos and hilarity ensue. Smith writes, directs, and edits, as usual, while the eclectic ensemble cast also includes Adam Brody, Austin Butler, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Mewes, Haley Joel Osment, Vanessa Paradis, Tyler Posey, Genesis Rodriguez, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, and more. Christopher Drake provides the music, while James Laxton again handles the cinematography for Smith.

The Paley Center for Media Los Angeles 2012 Benefit - Arrivals

Call me crazy, but this flick worked for me. Yes, it’s messy, but there’s so much fun to be had, that it quickly wins you over. Smith continues to be a strong editor, while his direction here utilizes some new visual tics, showcasing something different. His writing may be hit or miss for some, but I think his directing has grown by leaps and bounds. Most of all, he remains a filmmaker with an interesting world view and a singular way of displaying it. Moose Jaws is next for this True North Trilogy, and I can’t wait. Smith is being experimental for really the first time in his career, and it’s bearing fruit. My colleagues might not see the appeal, but I sure do.

Without question, it was also an added bonus for Smith to get to make Yoga Hosers with his daughter, and it rubs off on the whole project. The younger Smith, like the younger Depp, has an appealing screen presence and should have a long career ahead. The supporting cast is a mixed bag, though folks like Hale and Long are having a blast. Garman’s work might be divisive, but as a fan of the impressions he does on the Hollywood Babble-On podcast with Smith, I giggled the whole time he was on screen. Is this high art? No, but it has something to offer, especially in how it does bring up the relationship that artists and critics have with each other. Smith always has something to say, and this is no exception.

I might do something bigger on Smith himself, but for now, here’s how I would rank his filmography to date:

1. Chasing Amy
2. Clerks
3. Red State
4. Zack and Miri Make a Porn
5. Clerks II
6. Jersey Girl
7. Dogma
8. Tusk
9. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
10. Mallrats
11. Yoga Hosers
12. Cop Out

Overall, Yoga Hosers is something truly different. On Friday, audiences can start to see what I did when it begins a limited run in theaters (tonight there’s actually a special Fathom Events screening of the film before the actual release). This is a fun movie that will charm you into submission if you give it a chance. Moose Jaws will complete this trilogy of Canada set horror comedies, with the Mallrats television series up next, hopefully followed by Smith finally doing Clerks III. I’ve been there for everything he’s done so far, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. If you’re a fan of Smith’s, you owe it to yourself to see his new one ASAP…

Be sure to check out Yoga Hosers, opening in limited release this weekend!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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