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Be Kind Rewind (DVD)

Starring: Jack Black, Danny Glover, Mos Def (Ford Prefect from Hitchhiker's Guide) & Melonie Diaz (who's been in lots of worthy sounding films that I've never heard of. This should maybe have been a clue...)

Rated: 12.

Story: A nutty conspiracy theorist (Black) magnetises himself in a hugely unlikely fashion and wipes all the VHS tapes in the video store where his friend (Mos Def) helps out. In a panic, they remake the movies themselves using whatever props they can cobble together. Gradually they rope in the rest of the community to help out.

Comments: I haven't been so shamelessly and blatantly mis-sold a movie since Bridge to Terabithia. The trailer concentrates on the DIY films, featuring amusing clips of homemade versions of Ghostbusters and Robocop and Rush Hour 2. It makes Be Kind Rewind look like a manic comedy poking fun at Hollywood blockbusters.

The film is actually more of a drama than a comedy, and off-the-wall rather than funny i.e. it's totally daft and occasionally dull. Most of the plot revolves around the main characters' attempts to save a video store that is insolvent, falling down and almost devoid of stock (even before the bonkers 'magnetic man' incident). Yeah, it's nice when everyone starts working together and they discover their creative talents, but you can't help feeling there must be a better goal they could aim for. Does anyone really want to rent Ghostbusters on VHS?

The homemade movie clips are pretty few and far between. They're easily the best bit of the film but you'll have seen the highlights in the trailer. I'm guessing you could turn up stuff that's even better with a quick trip to YouTube. These clips would have the added advantage of not featuring Jack Black.

I can't remember Mos Def's performance in The Hitchhiker's Guide. I suspect I won't remember his performance in this by the end of the week. Danny Glover is as entertaining to watch as usual, though.

It's all just a bit of a mess really. Be Kind Rewind doesn't know what it wants to be or why. In fairness, it's never awful but, then again, it's seldom particularly good either. While my wife and I were halfway through watching, our AV-switcher had a spasm and lost the signal from the DVD player. We were dumped into the middle of The Matador, starring Pierce Brosnan, which was on TV and neither of us had seen. Probably the biggest indictment of Be Kind Rewind's confused nature is that it was over five minutes before we realised this was what had happened...

Conclusion: Wait until someone does a homemade remake and posts it on the internet. Watch that instead.

Explosions: One.
Improbable events: Plenty.
Creative use of tinsel and double-sided sticky tape: Excellent.
Villains: Developers, lawyers, DVDs and a cat.
Unlikely discoveries: Inserting random sections of other movies into this one actually improves it.

Rating: 2/5.

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