Madness in the Method is Jason Mewes’ feature-length film directorial debut, written by Dominic Burns and Chris Anastasi, and tells the story of Jason Mewes as himself, trying to find recognition for his acting away from the films and characters of his best friend Kevin Smith. Along the way, Mewes is introduced to ‘Method Acting’, but this discovery comes with consequences, as Mewes begins quickly descending into madness.
The story of this film at first feels like it’s going to be a biopic of Jason Mewes’ life, as he tries to prove to people that he’s more than just ‘Jay’ from the Kevin Smith films; the funny, stoner character that always has to share the limelight as a supporting character rather than the leading role. The film starts off with Mewes telling us about his past, from his childhood to meeting Kevin, and how Clerks changed his life. We are presented with clips and images of newspaper headlines which show us a montage of Mewes in Jay and Silent Bob: Strike Back, before switching to the more serious tone of the real headlines for Jason Mewes including his struggle with sobriety, and his relapse which saw him return to rehab. However, it’s not all gloomy, as one headline tells the story of how Jason Mewes became close friends with none other than former-football turned film star, Vinnie Jones.
The best part about this film is that Jason’s motive in the film, to become a serious actor, shines through to the audience, proving that he can be more than just ‘Jay’ as we see his descent into madness which allows him to portray a series of emotions and make his own mark in the industry as both an actor and director.
Though the story starts with a biopic style, we soon realise that it’s an over the top, comedic joy ride which sticks true to its title and theme of ‘madness’. There are odd dream sequences in between segments of the film, which transition the descent into madness as they appear after each important segment of Jason’s story,
It would be almost impossible for anyone to watch this film and not recognize at least one of the famous faces seen throughout. As mentioned previously, the film stars Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith which was probably a big reason for a lot of the audience to be sat watching the film in the first place, but then we are treated to famous faces from the start including; Vinnie Jones, Dean Cain, Teri Hatcher, Gina Carano, Danny Trejo, David Dastmalchian, Evanna Lynch and many more!
Some of the cast such as Jones, Cain and Trejo, portray themselves in the film, albeit somewhat more comedic portrayals of themselves. For example, Cain is constantly trying to hide who he is, so that he doesn’t attract crazed fans that want his signature or a picture with him whilst he tries to help Jay with his dilemmas.
This film also gives long-time Jason Mewes & Kevin Smith fans some familiar faces such as Brian O’Halloran and Harley Quinn Smith, as well as many references to Smith’s films such as “Lion Face, Lemon Face” which is a reference back to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, during a scene between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
This film also gives us one of the final cameos of the late great Stan Lee. Stan has worked with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes previously in Mallrats (1995), although they never shared any scenes together and still don’t in this film. It’s always a delight to see Stan Lee on-screen either way.
There are moments in this film that feel very real, by which I mean they feel very personal. There are scenes in which Mewes and Smith have strong discussions and even a scene with a tense and powerful argument that is portrayed in a way that felt it was drawn from experience. It almost hurt to see the two argue on screen because it felt like something that could have actually happened, and I’m sure something similar happened during their past because if you know Kevin Smith, then you’ve probably heard him tell the many stories of him and Mewes during their rough patch some years ago. This scene, however, proves to the audience that Mewes (and Smith) can really act beyond their stereotypical roles in the View Askewniverse.
My only issue with the film is that some of the story seems a little jumpy, though that being down to editing or writing is unclear. It could have been a creative decision to add to the madness of the film, but at times it feels a little confusing as to what is going on exactly, so this film is probably one you might need to watch more than once to understand properly. However, I do not think that takes anything away from the original viewing of the film.
Like Holden Mcneil in Chasing Amy, Jason Mewes seemed to finally have something personal to say, and this directorial debut tells it incredibly well. If you’re going to watch this film and expect it to feel like a Kevin Smith film, then get ready to be surprised. Jason seems to have learned a lot from his career in film and TV and has decided to step away from Smith’s style of directing, and instead brings his own style to proceedings.
Madness in the Method is laugh-out-loud hilarious and full of heart. This is Mewes’ effort to show the world what he’s got, and boy does he do just that. Showcasing his skills both in front of and behind the camera, some of you may find yourselves pleasantly surprised watching this film. The spectacular cameo-filled cast bring their own little spark to the film, and with certain scenes that feel like they’ve been directly pulled from his mind, Mewes will prove to audiences that there is more range and depth to his capabilities than just Jay and ‘Silly Bob’.
[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_-KuRJ2arE&feature=youtu.be” ]