by Michael B. Hock
Yoga Hosers is about two 15 year old Canadian enthusiasts who fight Nazi bratwurst clones.
Yes, I normally sort of ease my way into the description of a movie. I think it’s important for me to set the mood about my general feelings before I throw myself into what the whole thing is about. But I feel that it’s very important that we address this right up front: Nazi bratwurst clones.
After inflicting so much terror on the world for a while, we’re really working hard to make Nazi’s hilarious.
Colleen (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen (Harley Quinn Smith) are two clerks (I get it!) who work at a convenience store called “Eh to Zed” in a very Mel Brooksian version of Canada. The girls found some minor fame after saving the “Manitoba Manatee” (a reference to their last appearance in Tusk, where a man is slowly turned into a walrus… everyone remember when we thought Mallrats was the weirdest thing Kevin Smith would ever do?) find themselves living the lives of typical Canadian girls. Invited to a grade 12 party by the most popular boy, working for Colleen’s dad (Tony Hale) and his girlfriend (Natasha Lyonne) and rocking out with with all girl band, Glamthrax and their tattooed drummer Ichabod (Adam Brody.) When people start mysteriously dying, manhunter Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) comes back to town. That’s when they discover Nazi bratwurst clones. Can they fight them with the power of Yoga?
Before I saw this particular showing of Yoga Hosers, I was treated to a a preview in which Kevin Smith laid out a very interesting philosophy: if you want to see art, make the art you want to see. Don’t wait for someone else to make it.
Honestly, I’m not sure if I ever wanted to see two teenage clerks fight a Nazi bratwurst. Even after watching it, I’m not sure if I want to watch it. Sitting here, 24 hours later, I’m still not sure how to process this particular movie.
At first, this seems like it may not the best effort by Kevin Smith. The acting is so/so, the plot is all over the place, the special effects are what we might call “meh.” There’s padding. A lot of padding. Those grade 12 boys that invited the Colleens to their rocking senior party? They’re Satan worshippers, and they seem to exist only so they can die horrible deaths. They really don’t have much to do with the plot. there are plenty of moments where the girls do Yoga, in order to hit up the Yoga Hosers name, and so Justin Long can make jokes about Yoga and Yogi Bear.
On the other hand, I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie where someone said, “hey, let’s just put this out there, and let’s have some fun with it”. For that, I’m going to give it major points. A lot of points.
Sometimes, I think we don’t put out our art because we’re afraid it’s not what people would think is “good.” This is actually addressed in the third act, when the Nazi who’s been living under the Eh to Zed for 70 years makes a Goalium to destroy all of the art critics in the world. It’s kind of on the nose… the giant, prosthetic nose (that Johnny Depp wears) but I have to be honest, that part of the movie worked for me. Putting out Yoga Hosers is an extremely brave act. Kevin Smith knows it’s a stupid movie. He realizes that most people will probably roll their eyes once we get to the first extremely graphic Bratzi death. (Yes. They’re called Bratzis.)
I’ve never seen a group of people have more fun making a movie, and it shows in every scene. This is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself seriously, and has an important message that is just we should enjoy our art. We can’t wait for some people to judge our art. We have to put it out there. It’s a surprisingly deep message hidden in a movie that features one of the most (intentionally) mediocre Al Pacino impressions of all time.
The thing is, for as “lazy” as some moments seem, there are some flashes of some incredible brilliance. When each character is introduced, we get a few snap-chatish moments that include a few hidden moments of comedy, such as #walrusyes (the hashtag he used to get Tusk made.) And Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith are hilarious, playing off each other in a fun way that makes them enjoyable to watch, even as they’re smashing Bratzis. Honestly, I could watch them in a buddy comedy any day. Maybe a cop movie? No? We’re not doing that again?
This is a lot of words for a movie about Bratzis. Is it a brilliant bit of filmmaking that will set the world on fire? Nope. Is it a commentary on art and how we need to just make our art and care less about what people think? Yes. Is it fun? Decidedly so.
Go see this movie. Then go make whatever art you feel like making.