Be Kind Rewind: Worth a second look
Michael Gondry has done it again. Known as the director who brought us masterpieces like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep, Gondry uses his creative mind to create the funny and visually satisfying Be Kind Rewind.
Starring Jack Black (Jerry) and Mos Def (Mike), Be Kind Rewind takes place in a New Jersey video store that is on the decline. When owner Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) announces that the store will close unless sufficient funds are raised, he leaves Mike in charge.
While Mr. Fletcher is away, Mike’s friend Jerry gets electrocuted after trying to sabotage a nuclear power plant, causing Jerry to become magnetized. On Jerry’s next trip into the store, his magnetization accidentally erases all of the footage off of the videos.
With Jerry’s genius (and hilarious) idea to fill the blank tapes with recreations, the rest of Be Kind Rewind shows how the town falls in love with Mike and Jerry’s homemade attempts at classic films like Ghostbusters and Robocop.
Be Kind Rewind is really just a kid’s movie for adults that provides a lot of laughs but also leaves the audience feeling good (the humor is reminiscent of classic Jack Black films like Saving Silverman and Orange County.) Michael Gondry’s experimental directorial style keeps the movie fresh and up-tempo, none of the jokes feel old, and the story in itself is entirely different than any movie ever made.
The only flaw is that Gondry didn’t spend more time on Mike and Jerry’s recreations. Their homemade movies are the highlight of the entire film (especially the Ghostbuster’s paraody that involves Mike’s hilarious fake sliming) and though the rest of the film seems perfectly paced, the recreations feel rushed, as more emphasis is put on jazz legend Fats Waller than the comedic masterpieces that Mike and Jerry create.
Overall Be Kind Rewind is another Michael Gondry masterpiece, as the film combines two dynamic aspects, the directorial abilities of Gondy with Jack Black’s off-the-wall humor. For a movie released in February, Be Kind Rewind isn’t getting the respect and support a comedy that is actually laugh-out-loud funny deserves.