Ben Oliver

Banner image for Be Kind Rewind

Be Kind Rewind

I’m Bill Murray, you’re everybody else.
02 July 2023

A video rental store employee (Mos Def) and his friend (Jack Black) accidentally wipe all the tapes in the shop while the boss is away. They set about re-making the films themselves in the hope that the customers who haven’t seen the films won’t notice. The idea takes off and soon everyone is requesting custom remakes of popular films.

There’s way too much lead-in to this, with Jack Black’s character leading his life as a conspiracy nut and trying to sabotage a power station. When you know the premise of the film and are waiting for the ‘thing’ to happen that sets the plot in motion, it’s a little tedious. The setup is also pretty shaky in terms of exposition and back-story, it just shows the characters to be somewhat paper thin.

However, it’s hard to deny that once it gets going Be Kind Rewind has some real heart to it. Its good-natured message about the power of cinema, community and friendship is simple but not sickly.

This’ll never be regarded as Michel Gondry’s finest work but it’s a fun comedy that is perhaps more relevant than ever as the world transitions to streaming.