Back in 2006, actor/director/writer Kevin Smith was at the Edinburgh Film Festival to premiere the sequel to his 1994 comedy Clerks, Clerks II. A decade later and he returns to the fest, this time to premiere his latest feature Yoga Hosers, starring Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Melody Depp.

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The second in his Canadian True North Trilogy, which began with 2014's Tusk and will close off with the forthcoming Moose Jaws, Smith's Yoga Hosers follows best friends Coleen M (Kevin's daughter Harley Quinn Smith) and Coleen C (Lily Rose Depp) as two upbeat 16 year-old girls. They love playing their music - the film opens with an energetic musical number from the pair - their technology - they're always on their phones and can't survive without - and their yoga - where they get their eopnymous title of the Yoga Hosers from - and hate their job, working in Coleen C's dad's convenience store EH 2 ZED. However, when the two girls uncover an army of nazi bratwurst sausages - played by director Smith himself - living in the store, they must team up with detective Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp) and call on their yoga skills to bring an end to this ancient evil and stop them causing any more trouble.

Yes, the narrative is absurd. But then again, it's a Kevin Smith movie so what's new? Yoga Hosers is as absurd and silly and crazy a film as they come; yet, this is a film that is fully self-aware of what it is and doesn't take itself seriously and sets out merely to have fun. And that is exactly what this film does; it's tons of fun from the opening scene to the last. Sure, the screenplay falters in that it lacks much of a fulfilling and cohesive narrative, with its lack of plot even sometimes coming off as convoluted and messy, but it is so chaotic and strange and inconsiquential to the point of just being enjoyable. It's the Colleen's who carry this film and give it the heart it does have. We don't care for the story and, really, aside from the Colleen's and Depp's pretty outlandish and funny Lapointe, the characters are pretty disposable too - even the aforementioned three aren't given the most depth or personality either but they work for what the film accomplishes. What little the screenplay does provide though lends itself to 88 minutes of over the top lunacy and mindless entertainment.

If there is one thing Kevin Smith has managed to get right in the screenplay, it's the humour. The writing is witty and the jokes and visual gags are quite funny. It also works partially because of the brilliant delivery from the cast; young Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp are both wonderful in this picture. Both actresses look like they're having so much fun with the material and bring lots of charisma and energy to their respective roles and it's this heart and warmth that even somewhat adds some levity to the proceedings too. Johnny Depp is also a delight to watch. He really embraces the insanity of the character and the screenplay and he too has a ball with the material, giving a performance that will demand your attention and have you laughing. However, whilst a lot of the humour works, when the jokes fall flat, it's painstaking and cringe-worthy and feels like Smith was trying to hard; the comedy best works when it feels organic and not so much forced.

Yoga Hosers is ludicrous and ridiculus. It's audacious for its wackiness but it lacks much of a satisfying narrative and fulfilling premise. It feels as though everything that happens is merely happening for the sake of keeping the film going, without actually adding to it. What thin plot there is, we don't care for. However, our two leads are two sparks of joy and they make this film what it is. Their chemistry and interaction is fun to watch, as are all the crazy antics that kick in half way through the film. The action sequences are crazy and fun and Kevin Smith's direction is great too. What makes this film so lovable though is that Smith is very aware of the silliness and he doesn't take the material seriously, keeping it light and wacky, making for a film that, whilst little on substance, brings style in abundance and is funny, action-packed, colourful, energetic and just an absolute blast to watch! It's not exactly memorable but it's 88 minutes of inspired, mindless entertainment which is exactly what we'd expect from a Kevin Smith film. This is a film so lauded with passion and heart, both in front of and behind the camera, that it's hard to not to leave the cinema smiling.

VERDICT:
The screenplay is ridiculous and lacks much of a fulfilling narrative but Yoga Hosers is an enjoyable film, nonetheless; a competent 88 minutes of silly, mindless entertainment: everything you'd expect from a Kevin Smith movie. It's so absurd that it's fun.


About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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