Michel Gondry’s latest is an odd film that displays his creative flair but gets lost in itself by not packing that heartwarming punch it goes for while ditching what it does best, “sweeding”
What is “sweeding” you ask? Well that is what this film is all about; “sweeding” is the low budget bare bones reproduction of a film that captures the most memorable scenes essence of the film while having that personal touch. Next question, why do the stars Jerry and Mike have to “sweed” movies? Jerry (Jack Black) becomes magnetized while investigating a power plant conspiracy theory that makes no sense and has no relevance to the film as a whole other then serving as a silly plot device.
And silly would be the one word to describe this film if forced to give a one word review. It doesn’t takes it self to seriously most of the time, but in the third act the film tries to get sentimental and tries to make sense of a weird historical plot point and it just doesn’t work. The way that Gondry weaves the “Fats” plot into the story just doesn’t work and the film just feels like a smattering of ideas thrown together that Gondry wanted to do but couldn’t stand on their own.
The film does have some genuinely funny and well earned moments. Jack Black and Mos Def work very well together and both have some great laughs throughout. They bring fun and energy to the “sweeded” recreations, that are the shining points of the film, but aren’t able to bring the emotional punch out at the end; that might not be their fault more that the writing though.
Gondry’s inventive style is worth seeing the movie for though and the creatively is endless when they are making the films within the films. There is also a great one take that shows the “sweeding” of a number of films in a shot that involves an immense amount of coordination that really impresses. The Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2 recreations really stand out and get the most time as well of any of the “sweeded” works and leave you wishing you had more full blown recreations instead of the failed sentimental documentary bits.
In the end, Be Kind Rewind is a bit of a mixed bag, but definitely worth a rental if you are a fun of anyone involved. The “sweeded” stuff is excellent and the two leads are successfully hilarious at times and the film will not disappoint in the creativity department, it just doesn’t come together as a whole in the end.