The opening shot of THE MENKOFF METHOD features a Melbourne tram.
Thirty years ago, director David Parker made Malcolm, a landmark Australian film about a Melbourne tram driver, so the expectation that this new film of his would be as wonderful and quirky seemed to be telegraphed with this establishing shot.
THE MENKOFF METHOD is quirky, but comes nowhere near a coo-ee of Malcolm when it comes to comedy or heart.
A cult film waiting to be cultured, maybe, THE MENKOFF METHOD looks and feels like those pictures destined for immediate remainder bins at JB Hi Fi.
Dullard David is a bank office drone who dreams of drawing moolah making Manga. Not so much a dab hand as a drab hand, his flights of fancy somehow collude and collide with the financial institution’s folly in funding efficiency expert Max Menkoff to stop the bank from tanking.
Zac Gillam’s screenplay has all the hallmarks of a first draft, and none of the scene work looks adequately rehearsed by the actors.
The special effects are the modern day equivalent of an Ed Wood extravaganza. Cheesy acting isn’t even of the “so bad its good” kind, not even Noah Taylor can beef it up in the moustache twirling melodramatic title role.
A shoestring budget can’t pull this project up by its bootstraps because there’s not enough polish in the script. Such scrawny budgets have delivered two gems this year, Pawno and Broke, so money is not necessarily the impediment.
Impoverished budgets can be made rich by intelligent and emotionally honest scripts and intelligent and emotionally honest performances. And that’s not part of THE MENKOFF METHOD.