Madness in the Method, 2019.
Directed by Jason Mewes.
Starring Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Gina Carano, Vinnie Jones, Brian O’Halloran, Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain, Danny Trejo, Judd Nelson, and Stan Lee.
In hopes to shed Hollywood’s perception of him, Jason Mewes teams up with filmmaker and best friend Kevin Smith to track down a mysterious book. While it will help him become a serious actor, it leads Mewes down a dangerous path.
Every creative person struggles through a few identity crises in their life. First is when you are trying to discover who you are, and another is when you decide to change people’s perspective of who you are. In pop music, an artist like Madonna or Lady Gaga will re-invent themselves to give listeners a new outlook on their work. Even film directors can jump genre lines to show their range like Jordan Peele going from comedy to horror.
But actors get stuck in similar roles one right after another. Almost seems harder for an actor to change their public perspective after years of being one type of character. That’s where we are in Madness in the Method. We are watching an actor who’s stuck in a specific role, the fun pot-smoking guy, for most of his life. Now he wants to change all that. And if this film does anything, it shows that some hard work can do just that.
Madness in the Method is a very personal and hilarious look into the life of Jason Mewes, one half of the iconic stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob. If you’ve followed the career of Mewes or even the Kevin Smith-universe, you’ll understand a lot about this movie. It plays like a greatest hits for long-time fans, with Jason Mewes going through a journey through Hollywood saying hello to outlandish versions of people we know and love. The movie also features the very last on-screen appearance of Stan Lee, someone who’s played a massive part in the lives of Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
This movie allows for the perfect way to be reflective as an artist, but also poke fun at the world around Jason Mewes. Madness in the Method is far-fetched, and though it gets dark, you can’t help but recognize so much of this world.
These emotions are digging more in-depth, and that’s a testament to the earnestness of this project. Looking at the surface, though, Madness in the Method is more flawed. The humor is extremely hit and miss with the majority feeling like obvious clunkers than actual chuckles. Self-deprecating jokes work for a while, but this is all that the film offers in terms of comedy. It’s only self-aware jokes about the many cameos, or it’s a joke about just how weird Hollywood is; again nothing of real substance beyond a few chuckles.
Yes, the darker moments are fun, but those are fleeting as well. Tonally, the addition of a bit more of a thriller edge adds a much-needed layer to the film. Going for a straight-up comedy, like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, would’ve made the film feel like more of the same. So, going the route of some darker or even horror-inspired elements served as one of the best decisions made.
Madness in the Method is a solid enough debut for Jason Mewes as a director. He understands tone and style, which is refreshing. And there are some genuinely good moments throughout the film, but a weak script holds this back.
If anything, fans of Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse can use this as something to hold us over until Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. For many of us, it’s just wonderful to kick back and hang with Mewes and Smith again.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★