Frightfest 2019: Madness In The Method review

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Jason Mewes directs and stars, and he brings Kevin Smith, Gina Carano and Vinnie Jones too – here’s our review of Madness In The Method.

Certificate: N/A
Director: Jason Mewes
Cast: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Vinnie Jones, Gina Carano
Release Date: TBC
Reviewer: Matt Edwards

Jason Mewes, of Jay and Silent Bob fame, makes his directorial debut from a script by Dominic Burns and Chris Anastasi. Mewes plays himself. Tired of being typecast as a stoner, he seeks advice from Kevin Smith and ends up reading a powerful book on method acting. He soon finds himself involved in several deaths with his life unwinding but his career surging. But will he be able to stay out of jail long enough to land the most coveted role in Hollywood?

Madness In The Method is an unlikely film that is full of unlikely things that produce unlikely reactions. Jason Mewes and Vinnie Jones are an impossibly unlikely screen pairing. And what were the chances that they’d be so much fun to watch? They only have so much screen time but the mismatched pair share an easy chemistry and draw a lot of laughs. Who’d have thought it?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, though. The first thing to say about Madness In The Method is that it’s a film for a very specific audience. It’s so full of in jokes and plot points based around Mewes’ life and career to date that you may find you struggle to follow it if you aren’t already familiar with the actor and his role in Kevin Smith’s Askewniverse. Even if you could follow it, it’s hard to imagine what you might find in it to enjoy. This is less fan service than a full-on fan VIP experience.

At its most effective, there’s the quite touching and brilliantly produced animated opening credit sequence. Elsewhere, though, there is a near endless stream of catchphrases being recited that starts to wear thin very quickly.

The film is clumsily shunted together, little more than a loosely assembled series of skits. In fact, some scenes are so cobbled together you can clearly spot that they’ve been shot in multiple locations. The film is set in LA, yet the steering wheel in Jay’s car hints that it’s being driven in the UK, as do the road markings.

It’s also far too long. Madness In The Method is a film that frustrates in just how much there is a that could easily have been cut away. It’s barely committed to a couple of its plot points so the film would hardly lose anything by pulling them back. Similarly, the sequences that focus on the cops simply don’t work. It could do with being 20 minutes shorter, or with someone having another go at the script to try to bring the narrative more to the forefront to provide the film with a little momentum.

It’s a warped picture cobbled together from mismatched jigsaw pieces.

Yet, Madness In The Method is a tough film to kick. It’s brought to the screen in such a scrappy state and with such enthusiasm that you soon find yourself rooting for it. They do everything they can to try to entertain you.

There are some really funny moments in there, too. Jason Mewes is funny, Kevin Smith is allowed to chatter away to good comic effect, Gina Carano is incredibly watchable. The cast seem to be really having a good time, and it’s infectious. It may be full of fan service, but some of it is very funny fan service. There are so many cameos, including a giggle inducing turn from Danny Trejo and a brilliantly silly appearance by a paranoid Dean Cain, hiding from hordes of unseen Superman fans.

It really is an oddity of a film. At the centre of Madness In The Method is this bizarre riddle, where the real Jason Mewes is directing himself playing a fictional version of himself who is fed up with playing a different fictional version of himself. It’s a silly idea, brought to life in a silly film, and it’s actually really quite good fun.

Madness In The Method, then, is a scrappy, trashy comedy that plays on in-jokes and fan service that has somehow been wrestled into a pretty funny and enjoyable movie based almost entirely on the sweetness and enthusiasm of its star and director.

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