Following Tusk as the second part of Kevin Smith’s True North trilogy, Yoga Hosers features Colleen and Colleen, a pair of teenage Winnipeg schoolgirls who spend their time practicing yoga in between working at the local convenience store and bunking off to play their riot grrrl music in the back room. On an evening when they are forced to work, they variously face off with Canadian Nazis, anally violating homunculi made of bratwurst (with sauerkraut for blood) and overly polite devil worshippers.
After the narrative incoherence of Red State and the thin plot of Tusk, Yoga Hosers puts Smith back on far more familiar ground. While it’s unlikely to achieve the cult heights of Mallrats or Clerks, it’s far more recognisable as the work of the man who gave us such wonderfully puerile entertainment in the ‘90s, and as a result is a lot more enjoyable than his more recent output (his excellent The Runaway Dinosaur episode of The Flash aside). There are a lot of things you can say about Smith’s filmmaking, but one thing you can’t deny is that he’s something of a free spirit. So, if he wants to make a comedy/horror/action movie starring his daughter and with a plot based around one of his podcast ramblings, then that’s exactly what he’s going to do.
The two Colleens (who had a cameo appearance in Tusk) are respectively played by Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn (to answer your immediate question: yes, she is) and Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose. The pair are real-life BFFs, and their affection for each other comes out in their on-screen counterparts, with many moments of the pair laughing together being clearly natural and the amount of fun everyone certainly had in making the film translating to the finished product. While the pair don’t have a great deal of characterisation beyond being sassy teenagers, you never for a moment stop rooting for them in the tribulations of their adolescent lives.
A plethora of minor roles for adults punctuate the story, mainly with Johnny Depp returning as Guy Lapointe (an assortment of moles regularly changing in number and facial position between shots) and once again does his best to channel Peter Sellers, forever teetering on the edge of fully comprehending exactly what’s going on. Justin Long turns up as the girls’ yoga instructor Yogi Bayer, whose philosophies sound less like the teachings of eastern mysticism and more something that might have been uttered by Conan the Barbarian. However, throughout the story it’s the two girls who are very much front and centre of the action, never relying on anyone else to fix their problems or save them from dangerous situations.
It is a fact well known (to those who know it well) that to many Americans there is something intrinsically funny about (sorry, aboot) the very concept of Canada as a nation, and while there are many familiar jokes about the country, such as a wall of maple syrup bottles displayed behind the girls’ work counter, they are intended to be a parody of American perceptions rather than at the expense of Canadians themselves.
Yoga Hosers is the most fun a Smith film has been since Jay and Silent Bob took a trip to Hollywood, and is a return to form while also continuing to develop his filmmaking maturity. Long may it continue.
YOGA HOSERS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: KEVIN SMITH / STARRING: HARLEY QUINN SMITH, LILY-ROSE DEPP, JOHNNY DEPP, JUSTING LONG, AUSTIN BUTLER, TYLER POSEY, NATASHA LYONNE, TONY HALE, RAPLH GARMAN / RELEASE DATE: TBC
Expecting Rating: 6 out of 10