Following roles alongside frequent collaborator and best buddy Kevin Smith in the likes of Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma, Jason Mewes rounds up more of his mates to shine a huge Hollywood light on himself and the industry in his directorial debut, Madness in the Method.
The film is a dark comedy set in the movie business as ‘Jason Mewes‘ sets his sights on breaking out of his stoner image as Jay by becoming a serious actor, and respected amongst his peers in this unrelenting cut-throat industry.
We meet Mewes, playing a version of himself in present-day Los Angeles, struggling against constant typecasting by casting directors and agents; he’s proud of his past but is looking for a different direction. All of this is evident in a strong opening scene where the character accidentally reads a different part to what was expected by flamboyant casting agent Anthony Costalinio (played effectively by musician/ actor Matt Willis). This sends him back to his long-time friend and confidant Kevin Smith (playing a version of himself) who says that he must change his thinking and get hold of a mysterious bible on method acting – the only copy of which is held by a scary, rich Italian named Fernando Villarreal (Jaime Camil). Having obtained the book, Jay is sent on a mission to change his perception and for Tinseltown to finally take him seriously, a journey that will lead him down dark alleys to reach his goal.
Along the way are numerous appearances from some very familiar faces. Vinnie Jones shows up as himself, heavily caricaturing his hard-man image both from the football field and the movies that followed, as well as a recurring Kevin Smith offering words of wisdom as the other half of Jay and Silent Bob, a scene-stealing Dean Cain, also as himself constantly afraid of any superfans that may lurk around any corner, and a brilliant Zach Galligan as a luvvie British film director of a horror film that Jay finally lands a role in. Add to that the likes of Teri Hatcher, Harley Quinn Smith, Gina Carano, Danny Trejo (as you’ve never seen him before), The Inbetweeners‘ Blake Harrison, comedian Paul Chowdhry, and many more, you may be forgiven that this is a movie which uses its guest stars to mask a weak story, but the film is actually very entertaining and one which raises many laughs throughout.
True, the story is very far-fetched and supremely dark – definitely earning its international debut at Frightfest – but everyone involved is having so much fun that it really shines through. Many of the actors’ performances are very self-deprecating, and on many occasions I found myself laughing out loud at many of them.
The film very much fits into the world of Smith and Mewes, and those who are fans of the duo and this world will likely get the most of out this movie. Clerks actor Brian O’Halloran is key to proceedings (above, left), and it is very self-referential – some scenes may be lost on newbies – but Mewes the director is firmly in command of the show and clearly comfortable in his new role behind the camera as well as in front of it.
Method In The Madness is a solid debut from Mewes the director; a fantastical, late-night comedy to feast upon. Just make sure you look out for the final cameo from the late, great Stan Lee (the film is dedicated to his memory), and in true comic-book movie fashion, a fourth-wall-breaking mid-credits scene which is definitely worth staying in your seat for.
Method In The Madness was reviewed at Arrow Video FrightFest 2019.