Be Kind, Rewind is a wonderful film for what it is. It is, in short, a celebration of all we know and love about movies.
The basic premise of Be Kind, Rewind is that Mos Def’s character is entrusted with Danny Glover’s video store. Jack Black’s character is the kook who runs the junkyard down the street, who’s the kind of guy who’s got a conspiracy theory for everything. Convinced that the power plant directly behind his junkyard/garage is controlling people, Jack Black’s character sets out to sabotage the power plant, only to fail but end up with an odd quirk: he’s now magnetized. And thusly, every video tape in Mr. Fletcher’s store is erased, leaving a panicky and eager to please Mos Def desperate to please his customers by giving them movies they want which he doesn’t have.
Afraid of Mr. Fletcher’s disappointment, Mos Def enlists the aid of Jack Black to film all kinds of movies. The two reenact everything from Driving Miss Daisy, Ghostbusters and Rush Hour 2 to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and When We Were Kings and claim that they’re from “Sweden”, mark up the price and proceed to sell them. They carry on a hefty business “Swede-ing” films.
After seeing BK,R I noticed that many critics are lambasting this movie for lack of substance and depth. I don’t think the point of this movie is to be deep or thought-provoking. I concur that it’s probably Michel Gondry’s weakest film to date, but at the same time Gondry celebrates everything about movies that makes them much beloved by everyone. The two main characters reenactments show us exactly what it is that keeps us talking about movies long after we leave the theater, and the reactions of people to the Sweded films remind us of that passion and heart reaches out to people, even if your Stay-Puft Marshmallow man is made out of toothpicks, paper towel holders and the biggest bag of marshmallows one could buy.
It’s sweet, light, fluffy fun that celebrates the joy of watching movies and remembering them long after their runs in the theater are over. And that is pretty damn cool.
Verdict: Well worth the viewing in the theater. I paid $10 to see it and felt I got my money’s worth.