Method (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Method (formerly known as The Method) is Elizabeth Hurley's latest film, and her first since she had her baby. Although filmed on location in Romania, with a budget estimated by various sources between ten and seventeen million dollars, it went straight to video, indicating that there was no distributor who thought he could recoup marketing and distribution costs. This is becoming a habit with Hurley films. Method is the third recent Hurley effort to go straight to vid in the USA (Method, Bad Boy, Double Whammy), and the fifth in Britain (those three plus Serving Sara and The Weight of Water).

In short, Hurley is becoming the British Corbin Bernsen. Or is it the British Eric Roberts?

At one point, the gossip rags reported that Hurley walked off the set after the director criticized her performance. The 38-year-old is said to have taken a two day absence from filming after director Duncan Roy told her she was too stiff in one scene. Hurley is said to have returned to work after Roy apologized. The incident must have been particularly tense for Mr. Roy since Hurley was also one of the film's producers!  The oddly ironic factor in the equation is that Hurley was supposed to be playing the part of a bad actress! You'd think it would have been her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The film has been described (rather too generously) as Day for Night meets Basic Instinct. I can see where such a combination might be very effective if a director could pick and choose the right elements from Truffaut and Paul Verhoeven, combining Verhoeven's gift for sleazy action with Truffaut's quirky intelligence. Unfortunately, this film inherits a lack of action and tension from Day for Night, and a lack of intelligence from Basic Instinct. It follows a celebrity actress (Hurley) who gets her dream role playing real-life 19th century serial killer Belle Guinness in a feature film, and starts to take on the characteristics of the role on-screen and off. The "hook"  of the film is that the lead actor and actress in the film-within-a-film used to be lovers, and their characters also become lovers. Thus, we are never certain what we are seeing. Are the characters making love, or have the actors resumed their relationship while still in costume?

Yeah, I know. It's not much of a hook.

While the soap opera parallel love story progresses, dead bodies start to turn up on the movie set, at which point the plot takes kind of a hard left and develops into a murder mystery. Since the actress is acting totally nuts, is taking method acting to an irrational extreme by living on the set, and is talking to the spirit of her character (a 19th century murderess), we assume she must be involved in the murders on the set. Our feeling is buttressed by the fact that we are constantly watching her murder people while she is playing the 19th century character.

Of course, it is a movie, and we know that the obvious killer never seems to turn out to be the real killer, so ...

Yeah, I know. It's not much of a murder mystery either.


None, although Elizabeth Hurley comes very close to nipple exposure.

Bottom line? You would be well advised to skip this confusing and boring film.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • Straight to video
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a D. The IMDb score of 4.3 gives you the right idea. It's completely tedious and almost totally devoid of energy.

Return to the Movie House home page