Director: Jason Mewes
Writers: Dominic Burns, Chris Anastasi
Cast: Jason Mewes, Gina Carano, Vinnie Jones, Zach Galligan, Brian O’Halloran, Kevin Smith, Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain, Caspar Van Dien, Danny Trejo
Producers: Jason Mewes, Mickey Gooch Jr.
Music: Si Begg
Cinematography: Vince Knight
Editor: Adam Sykes
Cert: 15 (TBC)
Running time: 99mins
What’s the story: Jason Mewes, desperate to be taken seriously as an actor, discovers life becomes dangerously complicated when he is given a mysterious method acting manual.
What’s the verdict: We wish we’d liked Jason Mewes’ directorial debut. But the two best things about Madness in the Method are that title, and an animated autobiographical prologue that suggests Mewes has better tales to tell than the story he handcuffs himself to here.
Wanting to shed his Jay (of Jay and Silent Bob) persona and graduate to serious thesping, Mewes becomes obsessed with a sacred method acting text. But his quest for perfection turns malicious and murderous against anyone blocking his path.
Cue a cameo’ing Vinnie Jones, fitted up for the murder that sets Mewes’ mind spiraling, and Clerks Brian O’Halloran as a target due to a feted adaptation of The Odyssey he’s written…
Tinseltown has inspired great movies: Sunset Blvd., The Player, hell, we’ll even take Tropic Thunder. But, the script here by British writers Dominic Burns and Chris Anastasi betrays their outsider status, relying on gags about decadent Hollywood parties and over-the-hill stars (hello, Dean Cain) convinced everyone still adores them.
Plus, what film puts Cain and Teri Hatcher in a movie without putting them in the same scene for a Lois & Clark reunion? Presumably, a film calling in favours and only able to get Teri for half a day… seemingly in her own house.
Hatcher plays Mewes’ agent, another bit of confusion as no-one here is more famous than anyone else. So, it is arbitrary that Hatcher and Gina Carano play characters, but Vinnie Jones, Zach Galligan and Caspar Van Dien “essay” themselves.
We’ll let Kevin Smith off, as his scenes provide the film’s best moments. Couldn’t Mewes have filmed one of their live podcast shows and released that for posterity?
Laugh-free, indifferently plotted and a struggle at 99-minutes, this is all sub-Cheech and Chong. With gay stereotype gags more suited to a 1970s British sit-com, including Danny Trejo’s sub-John Inman turn.
Mewes is competent enough as a tab-A-into-slot B director, meaning he has a future in direct-to-rental movies if he wants to give filmmaking another crack. We’d still prefer he tackled some of those childhood stories though.
Likely to be remembered only for Stan Lee’s final screen appearance. We recommend waiting for the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot to see Smith and his Mewes do what they do best.