"where this film stumbles is that it doesn't seem entirely sure what it wants to be"
The latest offering from Michel Gondry, the man behind Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, brings together Jerry (Jack Black) and Mike (Mos Def), long term childhood friends, and follows their crusade to save the video store Be Kind Rewind, owned by Mr Fletcher (Danny Glover).
In an age old story of how hope and dreams can unite to conquer all, the film manages to convey its heart-warming tale in a refreshingly original fashion, which sees Jerry and Mike recreating films old and new after a freak accident with an electromagnetic field sees the original tapes wiped clean.
Where this film stumbles is that it doesn't seem entirely sure what it wants to be. With Black in the lead role, I for one was expecting a typically zany comic performance. Whilst we see glimpses of Black's comic ability (one brilliant camouflage scene springs to mind), they are not enough to bring the film fully into the category of ‘comedy'. At the same time, we are not really made to care enough about the fate of the video store, the film concentrating more instead on the wacky parodies made by Jerry and Mike (which incidentally can be seen on the film's website). As a result, you leave the cinema in a bit of a muddle, trying to work out if you have just seen a dull comedy, or a mildly funny tale of survival against the odds.
The film was by no means bad - there are far worse ways to spend 100 minutes of your time. However I can't help feeling that if it could only decide what it had wanted to be when it was growing up then it could have been fantastic, instead of just another fish in the sea.