The Johnny Depp Archive

Yoga Hosers (2016)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Natasha Lyonne, Hayley Joel Osment, Kevin Smith, Vanessa Paradis

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Rating: 1 2 3 and a half

Blimey, Kevin Smith can really talk. Ninety miles an hour, barely pausing for breath, he segues between lengthy, shaggy dog monologues, shooting off at random tangents like a stoner Eddie Izzard. Yet in amongst the nonsense he spouts at his Edinburgh International Film Festival Q&A, there are gems of truth. For example, he firmly believes that if you want something and it doesn't exist, you should go out and make it yourself. (Unless, I presume, what you want is an armoured bear with lasers for eyes…)

In this case, what he wanted was to take his daughter to see a film that made normal teenage girls heroes. So he made Yoga Hosers, 'a cross between Clueless and Critters'. Okay...

Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp as Colleen and Colleen in Yoga Hosers

Colleen and Colleen (Smith's daughter Harley Quinn and Johnny Depp's daughter Lily-Rose) are high school students whose evenings are spent working at the Eh-2-Zed, a convenience store in Winnipeg (its name just one of a stream of bad Cananda accent jokes that includes the title – according to Google, 'hoser' is a Canadian word for a clueless person which is used almost exclusively by fake Canadian people on telly. Who knew?).

Glued to their phones and communicating exclusively in their own private lingo, the Colleens are just like 15 year olds were back in my day but, y'know, modern. However, when they discover that the Eh-2-Zed is built above a secret Canadian Nazi lair, only their kickass, unusually aggressive yoga moves can save them...

While Smith continually dismisses the film as ridiculous nonsense ('batshit crazy' was one of his terms), to those of us (Smith's age) who grew up with creature features like Gremlins and Basket Case, or inhabited the unique linguistic universes of Bill and Ted or Heathers, it all seems utterly familiar.

Okay, yeah, it is pretty daft, especially when you throw in Johnny Depp's scenery-chewing Canadian French detective, Guy Lapointe (like the girl clerks, also a staple of Smith's previous movie, Tusk, which I managed to miss at Dead by Dawn 2015 due to a somewhat disastrous trip to America that, were I Kevin Smith, I could probably now riff on for 'aboot' half an hour…)

Harley Quinn, Johnny Depp and Lily-Rose Depp in Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers

Anyhoo. Yes, Yoga Hosers is very silly. But it's also enormously good fun, particularly if, like me, you're a child of the '80s at heart. Depp and Smith Jrs are sweet, sparky, and vulnerable in their supreme self-confidence as only teenagers can be, and make the best on screen double act since, well, Bill and Ted. And hey, it's a recent Johnny Depp film that doesn't suck. (Yeah, I know I never reviewed Through the Looking Glass. That'll be because life's too effing short...) The story is never going to save someone's life (as Smith claims sh*t he's said in podcasts has… really?) but it'll sure as hell cheer you up if your day is turning out basic...

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