Director: Kevin Smith
Stars: Harley Quinn Smith, Lily-Rose Depp
1 Globe (out of 5)
It’s been twenty-two years of diminishing returns since Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” exploded out of the Sundance Film Festival with its grubby, brattily hilarious chronicle of arrested development. A couple of early, awkward stabs at maturity aside (“Chasing Amy,” “Jersey Girl”), this promising filmmaker has long since calcified into one of the complacent characters from his movies, basking in the adoration of a fiercely loyal fanbase while his films somehow become even more sophomoric and indifferently assembled.
“Yoga Hosers” finds Smith back behind the convenience store counter, though this time it’s a Winnipeg mini-mart called “Eh-to-Zed.” His daughter Harley Quinn Smith and Lliy-Rose Depp (spawn of Johnny and Vanessa Paradis) star as Colleen M. and Colleen C. (or maybe it’s the other way around), two high schoolers toiling for minimum wage without ever looking up from their cell phones. They speak to one another in unintelligible millennial slang (everyone is “basic”) while supporting characters are introduced via social media profiles, complete with hashtags and comments emblazoned on the screen.
Following 2014’s bizarre walrus-horror “Tusk” in Smith’s threatened “True North” trilogy, “Yoga Hosers” is the writer-director’s second feature in a row devoted to the idea that Canada is, in and of itself, inherently hilarious. You’d be surprised at just how many “ehs” and “aboots” can be crammed into an 88-minute running time, alongside myriad maple syrup jokes and a hockey-themed breakfast cereal called “Pucky Charms.” The zenith of wit on display here is a yoga instructor (Justin Long) named “Yogi Bayer.”
It’s a noisy, grating movie that repeats itself incessantly, as if stalling for time. Johnny Depp reprises his role from “Tusk” as a spectacularly unfunny Quebecois private eye, complete with Pepe Le Pew accent and a mole that moves around his face from shot to shot. Eventually he and the Colleens wind up fighting an army of white supremacist, foot-long sausages dressed as Mounties and played by the director himself. These Brat-zis, as they’re called, kill people by climbing up into their rectums. But “Yoga Hosers” makes it abundantly clear that the only rear end Kevin Smith has crawled up inside is his own.