Remember when you used to rent video tapes and how it was so infuriating when the previous user did not rewind the cassette even when the sticker said Be Kind Rewind?
Comic caper with a touch of redemption set around the inadvertent wiping of all the tapes on the video store when the owner is away. It tells how two bumbling attendants, played by Jack Black and Mos Def , set out to remake, without any money, every film their customers want. Their home made “sweded” versions of standard like Ghostbusters & RoboCop push up rental sales for the store. How they do it provides the comedy. The impact of their actions provides the redemption part as their down at heel neighbourhood rallies round and community spirit shines through.
I struggled with the early part of this film (it is not my sort of comedy) but it slowly grew on me. There’s support from Mai Farrow as the somewhat eccentric neighbour, Danny Glover, as the store owner with a soft spot for the music of Fats Waller and some good small parts for some young actors and actresses. I was particularly taken with Mos Def as the less wacky one of the pair who is left in charge of the store.
ashramblings verdict: 3* In many ways it is a vehicle for Black, so if you like his style then have a look see, but if you don’t Be Kind to yourself bypass it.