‘Be Kind Rewind’ Poorly Executed

With its success at the Sundance Film Festival last year and with the comedic backing of Jack Black and Mos Def, “Be Kind Rewind” was destined to be great. But despite its relatively original storyline, this movie directed by Michel Gondry is not worth seeing. Taking place in a small town in New Jersey, the movie illustrates Mike and Jerry’s, two friends played by Mos Def and Jack Black respectively, fight to keep their small video rental store open. After his boss Mr. Fletcher, played by Danny Glover, has given Mike control of the video store all the tapes are mysteriously erased. To hold onto their few customers, Mike and Jerry take it upon themselves to reshoot all the movies requested with themselves as the actors and with the aid of campy special effects.

Alongside this main story, other smaller, lesser subplots waltz in and take over the movie for a bit, distracting from the main story. With the clever accomplice Alma, a small love story with no apparent direction begins. These subplots are used to distract the audience from a thin story that would be better suited as a skit on Saturday Night Live.

The film is slow going in the beginning, with only a few laughs and the general slapstick personality of Jack Black and the spoofs of such movies as “Rush Hour,” “Ghostbusters,” “The Lion King” and “Robocop” along the way. Overall, the humor in this comedy is lacking sorely, giving it the overwhelming feeling of being just a sorry waste of time.

Going in, there are high expectations for Jack Black to pull out another generally humorous performance as he plays the rather odd character of Jerry, a backwards loser with a superiority complex and a firm belief in the circulating conspiracy theories that the government is trying to control people through a local power plant. But Jerry does not have a defining presence in the movie and neither does Jack Black. While Mr. Black tries to control the scenes with hilarious antics, he soon grows old with his lack of material and blatant stupidity. Even the infamously insane actor and activist Mos Def couldn’t save this movie from dying painfully with Mike, despite his ability to do so in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Even the star presences of Danny Glover and Mia Farrow can’t save this movie from sinking into the abyss of being just another pathetic attempt at indie comedy.

All in all, “Be Kind Rewind” may have had a unique story line, but the delivery was lacking. With painfully few laughs along the way of a slow storyline, this movie is not worth shelling out 10 bucks, even if it did do well at Sundance. Perhaps it is just too artsy and not enough funny. Be kind, reader, and don’t come.