American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Horror-comedy "Yoga Hosers," Kevin Smith's latest scatological experiment, takes elements from his previous movies and stitches them together to form tedious Franken-gags. The snarky convenience store clerks of "Tusk," Smith's misconceived (but relatively straight-faced) horror flick, return to stop a decades-old conspiracy hatched by a Canadian Nazi and his ... sentient Nazi sausages. That may sound like a novel premise, but in Smith's infirm hands, it sinks beneath the weight of schticky jokes about Canada (They all say "aboot" and eat "Pucky Charms!"), Nazis (they all say "Nein," and "Wunderbar!"), and teen girls (they can't get away from those darn iPhones!). "Yoga Hosers" is tiring, and not because it's dumb or inherently obnoxious. No, as RogerEbert.com's resident Kevin Smith apologist, it pains me to say this, but: this movie should have been made by someone with more discipline.
"Yoga Hosers" starts off simply enough: inseparable teenagers Colleen C. and Colleen M. (Lily-Rose Depp, and Harley Quinn Smith, respectively, daughters of Johnny and Kevin) are in tenth grade, and want to attend a twelfth grade party hosted by handsome senior Hunter Calloway (Austin Butler) and his gross friend Gordon Greenleaf (Tyler Posey). But Colleen C.'s dad (Tony Hale) is going on a vacation with his catty girlfriend Tabitha (Natasha Lyonne). So the Colleens have to mind the Eh-2-Zed, Canada's answer to the Quick Stop convenience store you see in "Clerks." And while the girls pine for Hunter, murderous, butt-invading Nazi bratwursts—or "Bratzi"—infiltrate the Eh-2-Zed.
Yes, I said "butt-invading Nazi bratwursts." And no, I'm not shaking my head while I type this. Nazi meat-stuffs that sodomize their victims to death are not the worst of this film's problems. So no, Smith isn't an utter moron for coming up this premise. It could have been quite funny. In fact, if the creators of "South Park" had done it, "Yoga Hosers" might have been hysterical.
Unfortunately, Smith made "Yoga Hosers," a reality that sinks in with every sloppy joke, scattershot line-reading and uninspired wide-shot. That's right, even basic photographic coverage feels amateurish in Smith's films, a signature trait I must reluctantly admit to ignoring with some of his recent output. His main strength as a filmmaker and storyteller is his tendency of presenting a personal or just singular worldview. Say what you want about "Tusk," but there is not only a bizarre premise that holds together but a genuinely weird atmosphere, long enough for it to become clear that Smith has no idea where he's going. "Tusk" is disappointing, but it at least tried to do something new. "Yoga Hosers" feels like they took the wrong elements out of "Tusk" and spun-it-off into misguided schtick.