film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Dangerous Methods 2022 * * 1/2 Stars

STRIP METHOD

A Hollywood assistant becomes the assistant to a whacked out actor who I'm thinking, is schizophrenic. That's the rub to 2022's Dangerous Methods. Pay attention to the word methods, or should I say Method (as in acting).

Released this month and featuring title cards as if it were The Shining (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.), Dangerous Methods reveals from the beginning that the lead (Christopher Showerman as Desmond Gage) is loony tunes right off the bat. The assistant to him (if you can call her that) doesn't do much except fawn over him and his A-list status. She must really need the job. I mean anyone else with half a frame of reference would have left the situation on day one. 

But wait, there'd be no movie. And you the viewer wouldn't be plodded along hopelessly wondering where the heck "Methods" is going. Director Humberto Rosa wants to build tension but doesn't seem to reach it. The actors are game but their milk-and-water scenes are kind of stuck in neutral. 

On the flip side, why would the Hollywood industry even attempt to keep an unstable trouper like Gage on the payroll (he almost strangled someone on set for gosh sake)? And why would Gage's assistant (Lacy Johnson played by Rachele Brooke Smith) be so befuddled as to be seduced by him? I mean is Lifetime (the film's distributor) trying to say that Hollywood is "Hollyweird? It certainly appears so. "Freaking actors".  

All in all, I didn't hate Dangerous Methods but I thought it was rather restrained for what it could've been. The unhappy ending amps things up a bit but at the same time, it also felt like a dangling loose end. The fates of everyone involved (the assistant, the assistant's father, the cuckoo thespian) seemed arbitrary at best. Dangerous Methods isn't quite "The Most Dangerous Game". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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