Yoga Hosers is a follow-on from Tusk and features a return performance from Johnny Depp as Quebecois detective Guy Lapointe. Crucially, this also brings back and places centre stage Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith, respectively the daughters of Johnny Depp and Kevin Smith, and real-life best friends after meeting in a Hollywood kindergarten. The two Colleens made a supporting appearance in Tusk and are slated to appear in Smiths next film Moose Jaws. Justin Long also returns from Tusk but plays a different role as the Colleens yoga instructor. The term yoga hoser originated on one of Smiths podcasts, although quite what it means is left unclear in the film, despite being used several times. (The term hoser is a Canadian insult that derives from ice hockey where the losing team used to have the job of hosing down the winning teams ice rink).
I enjoy most of Kevin Smiths comedies they are smart, clever, have a wry sense of absurdity and come with an undeniable genre savvy wit but I cant say that Yoga Hosers was one Smith film I much liked. Kevin Smith has essentially made another of his slacker films Lily-Rose and Harley Quinn are not very different from the characters in Clerks. and sequels, bumming around a nowhere minimum wage job about the only difference is that they are somewhat more culturally clueless and Smith is now poking fun at millennials and the social media generation.
I have issues with Kevin Smiths describing some of his films as horror. He was certain Red State was but it wasnt. Similarly, Yoga Hosers has undeniable fantastic elements in its second half but registers far more as a comedy. Indeed, with the farcical playing given over to the Bratzis, the tone of the film heads more into the realm of the wilful absurdity of Sharknado (2013) and sequels. The end scenes have the amusement of Ralph Garman doing some fine voice impressions of well-known actors but between the lame humour, Johnny Depps incredibly silly performance, the copycat Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) visuals as the girls go into yoga action and a nemesis (cloned Nazis made out of sausage meat) that you cannot take seriously, the rest of the show slides off the cliff.
The other main issue that gets me with Yoga Hosers comes down to the word nepotism (google it if you dont know what it means). The entire film is a vehicle for Smith and Johnny Depps daughters in fact, Depp and Smiths entire families. Also appearing are Jack Depp, Lily-Roses younger brother, as the son of one of the clients at the store. Depps former girlfriend and Lily-Rose and Jacks mother Vanessa Paradis has a single scene as the history teacher (even though she and Depp parted ways back in 2012). Furthermore, Smiths wife and Harley Quinns mother Jennifer Schwalbach appears as Harley Quinns mother in a scene where she gives her a switchblade to protect herself at the party. Depp also repeats his role as the Quebecois detective Guy Lapointe and is even sillier than he was in Tusk. (For all the ridicule that Depp received for his performance in Mortdecai (2015), the two performances he has given as Lapointe are far more embarrassingly awful).
The question all of this family fun leaves me with is this would this film have been made starring Harley Quinn and Lily-Rose if the two girls did not have such famous parents? In other words, are Harley Quinn and Lily-Rose sufficiently talented that they could have won these roles through the usual process of accruing about a million casting call rejections, doing bit parts as an extra for several years before they get the breaks that every other actor/actress (excepting perhaps Jaden Smith) has to go through? (Not to mention that it leaves us with the irony of seeing the two girls who are probably the least likely teenagers in the world to ever have to work a minimum wage job trying to play bored convenience store clerks). The answer is I am not completely convinced. Harley Quinn Smith is not too bad and I could see her going on to do other roles. On the other hand, Lily-Rose Depp just seems too quiet and to not project enough presence on screen. I also get that their band is supposed to be a parody but it must be said the two actually belt out a rousing rock version of O Canada over the end credits.