Movie Review: ‘Rewind’ makes viewers want to fast-forward

“Be Kind Rewind,” which hit theaters last Friday, left viewers wanting to rewind back to the ticket window and choose a different movie.

Jerry, a rather spastic and unintelligent character played by Jack Black, gets magnetized through an unforeseen accident at an electrical power plant. While rearranging VHS tapes at a rundown video rental store in New Jersey, the tapes are erased and left blank.

The blank tapes are brought to the attention of Jerry’s video clerk co-worker, Mike, played by Mos Def, after being left to run the video store owned by Mr. Fletcher, a grumpy elderly man played by Danny Glover.

In desperation to make money to save the video store from being shut down and to keep customers happy, Jerry and Mike shoot their own homemade video interpretations of movie titles available at the video rental store.

It starts off with “Ghostbusters” and a younger viewer could actually enjoy these scenes. The dynamic duo then decides to “Swede,” or reenact, every movie title requested by customers.

While the creative premise of the movie holds to be fairly alluring, the movie doesn’t quite meet viewer expectations. With Black starring as the lead character, one would assume this movie would be filled with hilarious moments, yet it only left the theatre silent.

The movie left viewers waiting for that knee-slapping moment, but it never came. Black’s character seemed suitable, yet wasn’t played out to its full potential.

Mos Def, an actor who usually takes on more dramatic roles, didn’t truly fit the character he played.

With awkward acting and a mediocre performance, Def’s character brings nothing to the table.

Waiting seemed to be a major part of watching this movie. There was the waiting for those funny moments, waiting for a major plot twist and waiting for anything somewhat exciting to happen.

The movie went on and on, yet never actually explained each situation.

The audience was left wondering why certain things happened and certain scenes were left with no explanation, such as an awkward scene of Mike’s jealousy over Jerry’s popularity in the “Sweded” movies. It was mentioned once very briefly and was never discussed or shown throughout the rest
of the movie.

In counterpart to the film’s disappointing performance, the idea was overall creative.

The cast appeared to have thoroughly enjoyed making this movie, almost like they truly were filming the homemade videos.

The making of the “Sweded” videos was rooted back to the primitive days of filmmaking and the true art of cinema. Michel Gondry, director of “Be Kind Rewind,” deserves some recognition for his creative approach to a desperate plot situation.

Although creative, many questions remained unanswered at the end of the movie. The audience remained in their seats even after the credits began to roll, unsure if the movie was really over. The ending was unclear and stopped at an awkward point.

Overall, the movie was relatively entertaining, but definitely a renter. If viewing this movie with an open mind, it could be enjoyable, just don’t expect a spectacular performance from any of the actors.

“Be Kind Rewind” is rated PG-13 and is currently playing in theaters.

Jaclyn Mittman can be reached at

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