Thursday, January 7, 2010

Be Kind Rewind. C+

'Be Kind Rewind' is half a good a movie. But it's also a muddled, chaotic mess that's so inventive it becomes slightly frustrating. The movie is all over the place, hardly coherent at all. After pulling an impetuous stunt at a local power plant, Jerry Gerber, played by Jack Black, becomes a walking magnet and erases all the videos at his friend Mike's (Mos Def) movie rental store. Not wanting to disappoint their customers, the two come up with the plan to remake all the movies in cheap, home-video style. Now this setup is clearly a stupid one, but unlike most movies with bizarre premises, 'Be Kind Rewind' doesn't attempt to make any sort of thematic point through the eccentricity of the screenplay. 'Be Kind Rewind' almost goes too far in its inventiveness, and some less forgiving of the film may very well say it does cross the line. When Jerry and Mike become local sensations, the picture loses much of its charm and the final segment is truly ugly. But by having an abrupt ending, 'Be Kind Rewind' sort of salvages the mistakes it makes and becomes rather satisfying. The loopy story definitely matches the wit of its director, Michael Gondry, known for his wildly unusual movies such as 'Human Nature' and 'Eternal Sunshine.' The difference here is that he doesn't tackle any sort of human story. He's just going for the screwball comedy effect and to his credit succeeds in producing several funny moments. But in the end it's hard to really cherish a movie like this, despite the fact that it's aware of its outlandish nature and wisely never goes off the plank. But even if the movie doesn't reach out to its viewers on an emotional level, it's still incomparable to any movie ever made, in both a good and bad sense.

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