Those who thought Kevin Smith had hit a new low with Tusk should prepare themselves. Yoga Hosers is almost certainly the worst film of his career.
Those who suffered through Tusk will probably remember some of the funnier moments involving Smith’s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and her friend played by Lily-Rose Depp. They portrayed bored Canadian convenience store clerks. They also will remember an unrecognizable Johnny Depp as a kooky Canadian detective trying to find a missing person. Arguably, those three accounted for the funniest parts of a movie that barely raised the bar too far above The Human Centipede movies.
We re-encounter these clerks, collectively known as “The Colleens”— McKenzie (Smith) and Collette (Depp)—as they’re performing an impromptu number with their band in the backroom of the “Eh to Zed” convenience store. That location might give you hope we’re in something akin to Smith’s debut Clerks only with the two teenage girls giving it a hipper modern flavor. Instead, we’re forced to endure one of the most misguided and unfunniest comedies of Smith’s entire collected filmography (when you realize that this includes Cop Out, you’ll only get an inkling of how unwatchable Yoga Hosers tends to be).
That title may bear a little further explanation as the girls are also known as “Yoga Hosers,” even by the most random passerby. The “yoga” part comes from the fact that the two friends regularly spend their off-hours at a strip mall yoga studio run by Justin Long’s Yogi Bayer (read that name a few times over; it’s given to Long merely for the sake of a single bad joke).
The second part of their nickname comes from the fact Smith spent too much time watching the far superior Bob and Doug McKenzie’s “Great White North” bits and thought it was time for him to jump into the Canadian humor fray. He does this by having his and Depp’s respective daughters constantly saying “sorry” and “aboot” and “eh?” This is literally going for the lowest hanging fruit when trying to stereotype Canadians.
Thankfully, Canadians are generally known to have a good sense of humor but if they were ever to declare war on the United States, it’s likely to be over something as blatantly offensive as Yoga Hosers, and who would blame them?
Crappy title aside, there’s an equally crappy story at play here, one involving rapey upper classmates inviting the Colleens to a party, only to try to sacrifice them to the devil while townspeople are being killed by these tiny creatures that drill up their buttholes. There’s absolutely no connection between these two subplots, as we later learn these creatures are Nazi sausages or “Bratzis,” all played by Smith himself, whose vocabulary mainly consists of “Nein” and “Wunderbar.”
These mostly CG creatures are commandeered by a wacky Canadian Nazi (Ralph Garman), who learned English by watching movies. Thus we’re given a string of impressions including Sylvester Stallone and Charles Nelson Reilly. Again, it’s not funny or particularly clever.
To make up for the weak storytelling, Smith tries to make the film visually interesting by overusing an Instagram-like method of introducing each of the characters, but it quickly grows as tiring as the two protagonists and every single character they meet. The latter includes a lot of wasted talent from Tony Hale (Veep) to Lily-Rose’s mom Vanessa Paradis, who plays a history teacher whose sole purpose to the plot is to introduce the idea of Canadian Nazis. And of course, Depp is back as Guy Lapointe, the novelty of that character quickly growing stale once you realize it wasn’t particularly funny in the first place.
At least Smith doesn’t exploit his teenage child in the same creepy way that Dario Argento and Serge Gainsbourg did with their own daughters’ early films, but that’s really the only good thing that can be said about his movie. Maybe Smith has given up on catering to his mostly male fans and wanted to do something that may appeal to younger teen girls. But Yoga Hosers is little more than a vanity project gone horribly wrong.