Be Kind Rewind (2008) starring Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover, Mia Farrow, Melonie Diaz directed by Michel Gondry Movie Review

Be Kind Rewind (2008)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Mos Def and Jack Black in Be Kind Rewind

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There are two types of daft, funny daft and dumb daft and for the most "Be Kind Rewind" is the latter with its comedy surrounding a video store making their own versions of movies. But whilst much of it is dumb daft it sort of grows on you building from the occasional funny moment to a movie with a sense of community spirit which at times feels like it's mimicking 80s comedy "Batteries Not Included". As such it is entertaining but it takes it's time to get there.

With his video store struggling for business and with the threat of demolition looming, Elroy (Danny Glover - Silverado) heads off on a research mission leaving Mike (Mos Def - 16 Blocks) in charge of things. Unfortunately whilst Mike tries to keep on top of the floundering business his best friend Jerry (Jack Black - The Holiday) accidentally becomes magnetized and in doing so wipes all the videos in the store that he touches. Desperate to try and make up for their mistakes Mike and Jerry set about making their own versions of iconic movies and to their surprise become a hit with those who watch them. But it may be all too late to save the shop as demolition day gets ever closer.

Jack Black as Robocop in Be Kind Rewind

There are almost two sides to "Be Kind Rewind" with the first being all about the home made movie versions of big movies. It's sort of a clever idea as Mike and Jerry go about making cut down versions of the likes of "Ghostbusters" and "Rush Hour 2" allowing for plenty of comical spoofing of various well known movie scenes. I say sort of clever because in reality the idea of them trying to get away with these funny imitations is as daft as many of the jokes they try to incorporate. But then it's full of funny moments, such as their "Robocop" walking in to the video store, the library scenes from "Ghostbusters" and so on. The trouble is that whilst all the imaginative recreation of various movies provides plenty of laughs what goes on in between is all a little dull. The build up with Jerry becoming magnetized is just stupid and fails to really make you laugh when it should.

The second side to "Be Kind Rewind" is that whole community spirit side of things which seems to draw quite heavily from "Batteries Not Included". You have this old building under threat of being demolished and so through the endeavours of everyone they set about trying to save it. It works to a point, delivering an almost feel good, nostalgic feel as we watch the community join forces to make a special movie about Fats Waller in order to raise much needed funds. But at the same time it's sort of weak and overly predictable, especially if you've seen "Batteries Not Included".

What doesn't work is that these two sides almost work as separate movies with the first half focussing on all the film making, aiming to deliver laughs with the various movie imitations and techniques they use. And then when this side starts to become repetitive and a little tuckered out the community spirit side takes over. The interweaving of the two sides doesn't come together and ends up making the first half of the movie funny whilst the second almost touching.

As for the performances well it is again a case of they grow on you. Jack Black as accident prone Jerry starts of basically being himself with an almost obligatory moment for him to rock out on air guitar, something which almost put me off before it got started. But the longer things go on the better Jack gets and his whacky style of loud comedy works as he energetically works his way through various iconic movie characters. As for Mos Def who plays Mike, well it's an entertaining performance but for the most he is over shadowed by Jack Black whose energy dominates most scenes.

Aside from Jack Black and Mos Def, Danny Glover is sort of amusing as Elroy the desperate owner of the video store but again is over shadowed by the ever exuberant Jack. And making up the movie are adequate performances from Mia Farrow and Melonie Diaz.

What this all boils down to is that to be honest "Be Kind Rewind" is sort of a mixed movie which grows on you the longer it goes on. It is daft; with many a joke failing to hit the right mark but some of the movie remake footage is just inspired and funny. It's the sort of movie you watch once, find sort of entertaining but after that you don't need to watch it again.