Kevin Smith trashed by Sundance critics for Canadian farce Yoga Hosers
It's the second film in Smith's proposed "True North Trilogy"
American director Kevin Smith continued to express his fascination with all things Canadian by premiering Yoga Hosers — the second chapter of the "True North Trilogy" — at the Sundance Film Festival this week.
Set in Manitoba, Hosers stars Smith's daughter Harley Quinn Smith alongside Johnny Depp's daughter Lily-Rose Depp as two teenagers who work at a convenience store called "Eh-2-Zed" (get it?). While that sounds basically like a nepotistic, Canadian re-write of Smith's own Clerks, the plot definitely thickens. The girls (both named Colleen) end up joining forces with a legendary Quebecois man-hunter named Guy LaPointe (played by Lily-Rose's famous father) to fight sodomy-obsessed Canadian Nazi gremlins. Yes, you read that right.
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The film follows 2014's Tusk (which premiered at TIFF and featured Johnny Depp as the same character) and — if Smith gets his way — will be joined by a third film called, we kid you not, Moose Jaws (Smith has described it as "Jaws with a moose").
Collectively, they'll join Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon in the very small lexicon of Canadian-set films that aren't actually Canadian. But according to early reviews, we're not quite sure that's a good thing with respect to Hosers. In fact, critics at Sundance have more-or-less trashed the film, zeroing in on its endless and unfunny stream of jokes aboot Canadians.
Here are a few choice quotes:
"If it's true, as Kevin Smith noted in his lengthy introductory remarks at Sundance, that 'failure is just success training,' then he should be in the best shape of his career after Yoga Hosers, an imbecilic, strenuously wacky helping of see-what-sticks juvenilia that finds the director continuing the 'True North Trilogy' he began with 2014's rather more endurable Tusk. Crossing a high-school comedy with a small-town gremlin movie, this cobbled-together live-action cartoon supplies an endless stream of Canada jokes in service of a plot about a hostile takeover by long-dormant Manitoban Nazis who take the form of sodomy-inclined sausages." — Justin Chang, Variety
"Yoga Hosers might be marginally more tolerable if Smith were able to get over his fascination with goofy but inconsistent Canadian accents. Excessive use of 'aboot' is probably funny with friends. When stoned? Hilarious. But on screen, it's awful. Smith has referenced Strange Brew in conversations about this movie, but that film was made by Canadians, who have a more genuine point of reference. Smith merely seems to be goofing on an accent, and it never works." — Russ Fischer, The Playlist
"Canadian Nazi party, you say? Yes, Hosers is the densest embodiment yet of Smith's strange conviction that anything north of Niagara is good for a laugh. Shot in L.A. but set in Winnipeg, the pic offers more outrageously bad Canadian accents than a man named Gordon can shake a hockey stick at. Smith works 'aboooot' and 'soorry' into the script with as much frequency as 'basic,' the one bit of circa-2015 teen lingo he decided to adopt here." — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
"For all the Scott Pilgrim-minded CG violence, a motif the film spends much of its runtime poring over, Yoga Hosers is really just a hangout movie about a pair of BFFs who want to do yoga, post pictures on the internet, and never be apart from their phones or each other, ever. Because of this, anything in the film that doesn't relate to them feels … well, it feels like what the film ultimately is: an idea inspired by a pot-fueled ramble on a podcast that nobody felt the need to pare down before bringing it into vivid existence." — Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, Consequence of Sound
"The film joyfully lampoons the way Canadians pronounce certain words, but after a couple times the joke loses its humor. Any time a new character appears on screen, we are presented with an 'Insta Cam' profile of the character, which appears to be compiled from the social media accounts of our millennial protagonists. These introduction cards feel like the remnants of a 1990s teen movie, and they came across as more annoying than funny." — Peter Sciretta, /FILM
Watch a clip from the film below to see for yourself: