Lazily charting the unlikely transformation of rapper Snoop Dogg into reggae artist Snoop Lion, “Reincarnated” surely sets a new record for the amount of weed smoked oncamera in a documentary, but its other achievements appear hazy at best. Playing as an extended promo reel for Snoop’s forthcoming LP, the pic, poorly shot in Jamaica, fails to make a case for the musician’s new identity in anything but commercial terms, even though the subject himself takes pains to assert that, having recently turned 40, he has matured past the crude glorification of pimping and such. Snoop lovers will be skeptical.Whether to hide the new material’s banality or preserve its surprise until the album drops, lyrical content is kept mostly under a smokescreen so that only an ode to fruit juice registers as progress for a man who once insisted on adding gin to the glass. Proffering peace and love in between countless bake sessions, Snoop is eventually named Berhane, meaning light, in a Rastafarian ceremony. The pic ends just shy of showing Snoop deliver his new songs onstage, leaving fans no choice but to chill until the next episode.
A Vice Films, Snoopadelic Films production. (International sales: Paradigm, Los Angeles.) Produced by Suroosh Alvi, Ted Chung. Executive producers, Calvin Broadus, Shante Broadus. Co-producers, Codine Williams, Justin Li. Directed by Andy Capper.
Camera (color, HD), Nick Neofitidis, William Fairman, Willie Toledo; editors, Bernardo Loyola, Emily Wilson, Jared Perez, Dave Gutt; music supervisors, Ricki Askin, Lustin Li, Snoop Lion; sound, Stephen Urata; supervising sound editor, Jonathan Null; re-recording mixer, Brandon Proctor; associate producers, Kevin Barkey, Samantha Shannon. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (TIFF Docs), Sept. 12, 2012. Running time: 96 MIN.
Snoop Lion, Bunny Wailer, Cutty Corn, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Shante Broadus, Stewart Copeland.