A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The action and dialogue are heightened for comedic and dramatic effect, which makes lessons land lightly -- or not at all.
Positive Role Models
Mewes and Smith's schtick has matured somewhat as they've aged. Both are now married men, and Smith has a teen daughter, who also appears in the movie; they talk at times about how responsibilities have changed their lives. Many characters have a stereotypical edge, including Hollywood celebrities both real (playing themselves) and fictional. Mewes in particular makes many choices that are dangerous and/or criminal, without realistic consequences.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is sporadic but can be shocking, even though it's played for laughs: A character hits another with a car, and we see the victim's unmoving body on the road with brains leaking from his head. In another scene, a character is stabbed repeatedly as blood flies from his mouth. Characters brandish guns in many scenes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Jokes are frequently very crude, with references to body parts ("p---y," "clit," "t-tty," "d--k") and many jokes about male-on-male oral sex (Smith says to Mewes that he sees "c-m" dripping from his mouth). In one scene, characters prepare to have sex, but all viewers see is them falling into bed together.
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Language is constant and very crude: "f--k," "f--king," "motherf----r," "bitch," "s--t," "a--hole," "p---y."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mewes is (relatively recently) sober; viewers see him attending a 12-step meeting and refraining from drinking at parties. A minor character smokes cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Madness in the Method is similar in tone to other movies in Kevin Smith's filmography, though this one is directed by Smith's longtime collaborator Jason Mewes. Jokes are raunchy, with tons of references to sex acts and body parts (though the only sex viewers see on-screen is the beginning of a cheerful marital encounter; everyone has their clothes on and doesn't even touch). There are also many jokes about and references to oral sex between men and being gay that walk the line of offensiveness. Language is extremely strong and frequent; expect to hear "f--k," "f--king," "motherf----r," and much more. Mewes was once a stoner but now is sober; he's shown going to a 12-step meeting and refusing drinks at a party. A minor character smokes cigarettes prominently. Violence is infrequent but shocking, even though it's played for laughs: A hit-and-run victim is seen with brains leaking from his head, and a character is suddenly stabbed, with blood flying/oozing out of his mouth (he soon dies). Mewes and Smith are now in their 40s, and although their humor hasn't exactly matured, they're both married now, and they talk about how that's changed their lives (both love and appreciate their spouses, though their marriages aren't untroubled). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Amiable and entertaining, if a bit self-referential, Mewes' directorial debut takes on the tone and style of Smith's View Askewniverse, both for better and for worse. This time the genre is a comic murder mystery that's heavy on both the comedy and the murder, which is a bit darker than viewers might expect. But those who've seen a Jay and Silent Bob collaboration before won't be surprised by the comic content: Mewes and Smith exist, as always, in a cinematic world in which everyone seems to know their in-jokes (the unconverted may be sent straight to Urban Dictionary to seek the meaning of phrases like "snoogan"). And the parade of guest stars dropping by to deliver a few lines is one of the best things about Madness in the Method (longtime fans know to expect the regulars to duly make their turns).
Mewes' sobriety removes the layer of stoner comedy that usually permeates his and Smith's films. But sending up Hollywood makes a pretty good substitute, as Mewes careens through town with the twin goals of evading a murder rap and getting cast in a role that will make his peers take him seriously. The last bit is obviously a meta quest; as the on-screen Mewes, playing himself, obsessively consults a movie industry ranking site for clues that his efforts are bearing fruit, it's all too easy to imagine the real-life Mewes doing the exact same thing. But, like the actor, his movie has an easygoing charm. Askewniverse fans will like it, and while it may not convert legions of new admirers, this film is a worthy successor.
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