Madness In The Method (2019) stars Jason Mewes in a hilarious meta-comedy about fame, crime, and a decent into darkness. Imagine Breaking Bad in the ViewAskewaverse (Kevin Smith’s library of films he wrote himself.) Mewes loses out on a movie role because the director wants him to play the supporting role, which is basically a rip-off of his alternate self, Jay. (Silent Bob’s hetro-lifemate and partner in crazy.) Mewes, crestfallen, seeks out aid from an unlikely source and is introduced to a “mystical” book on method acting. While reading and working his way through the book he begins a personality transformation that eventually leads to his becoming a criminal mastermind.
Mewes starts off as a humble, dim-witted, struggling actor who’s trying to outlive his past and reputation. In real life, he had a wicked drug and alcohol addiction that nearly wiped out his career and life. He got clean and sober and has been fighting back against the shadow of his past ever since. In the film, he is friends with Vinnie Jones, who lets Mewes borrow his car to do an audition. After being rejected, he seeks out the director and a confrontation ensues. It ends badly for the director. Now fearful of being arrested for murder, our hero returns the car only to learn the next day that Jones has been arrested. What follows is a wild ride as Jay falls deeper and deeper into an abyss of lies and dark emotions. He gains more and more confidence from the book but it costs him as he slowly unravels his relationships with his friends. Ultimately, he reaches a breaking point and comes out on top. Well, sort of. It’s a really fucking funny journey. When he wants to do so, Mewes can act. His portrayal of himself is what really ties this together. He’s doing a reflection of how he may really feel projected through the character of Jay as opposed to doing a Deadpool-esque fourth wall nod. His performance is believable, then it’s farcical, then back to believable. I didn’t mind. The story moves along at a solid clip and doesn’t get tangled in itself as many other meta-stories do.
<Meta refers to the quality of using real life as a template but then introducing fantastic or outrageous elements. A mockumentary like Spinal Tap is a meta-comedy example.>
I loved this movie. It is a gumbo of styles from comedy to crime thriller laced with inside jokes to Jay’s appearances in Kevin’s works. It even has a very Smith-like quality to how the scenes ebb and flow. One minute it’s Clerks then Chasing Amy then Dogma’s bigger than life bombastic action scenes. Mewes held his own dramatically. I’m not saying he’s Oscar worthy but the guy can do self-parody and it showed. There are some true laugh-out-loud moments too. The final courtroom scene got a hoot out of me.
Rewatch? YES. I would happily add this to my View Askew collection. Although not a actual part of canon, it still finds a place.
High Point: There is a confrontation between Mewes and Smith that may have been more real than they intended. They go at each other like rabid dogs. Damn good stuff.
Low Point: Some of the violence does get a bit cheesy and takes you out of the mood. Otherwise, a solid film.