Starring: Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover
Directed by: Michele Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)
Written by: Michele Gondry (“The Science of Sleep”)
It’s always refreshing when you realize that filmmakers like Michel Gondry are still out there putting on a show in their own exceptional way. Originality and distinctiveness aren’t always on the same page, however, especially with Gondry’s newest dark comedy “Be Kind Rewind.”
In the film, video store employees Jerry (Black) and Mike (Def) realize that Jerry’s body has become charged by an electric tower and has caused all the tapes to erase. With the city proposing to demolish the store to build condos, the dorky duo sets out to remake all the films they destroyed.
Recruiting some people from the neighborhood to help with the production, “Rewind” fast-forwards through a montage of amateur filmmaking including Jerry and Mike’s take on “Ghostbusters,” “Driving Ms. Daisy,” and “Rush Hour 2.” At the same time, director/writer Gondry seems to hit cruise control and turn “Rewind” into a film school project patched together at the last minute.
It’s a great idea for a movie, but Gondry thematic sense and timing is off. Where he hopes to speak on the importance of community and friendship, he can’t seem to nudge “Rewind” out of the impersonal narrative pothole it wallows in for a majority of the picture. Without any real magnetism (not counting what’s flowing through Jerry) between creator and characters, the film simply disconnects.