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A mortician's (Method Man) life is suddenly changed when a dead woman's body comes into his morgue jolting old memories from his past. As days go by he discovers a young boy hiding out in his morgue. When confronted the mortician learns that the boy is there to see his dead mother one last time while hiding from his father, who wants him dead. This triggers something inside the mortician and he is determined to help the boy escape from danger and is prepared to kill anyone who stands in the way. Written by
Elizabeth Obermeier, Marketing Manager
Pointless melodrama which drains the very life from you
Bathing in urban squalour and decay, this Method Man starring feature may not be what you might expect. Meth (as fans of the Wu Tang Clan affectionately refer to him) plays an awkward, ambling outsider who as the title suggests, works at the city morgue. He shuffles two and from work with his head hanging low. A man of few words, his hours away from the corpses are spent practicing his taxidermy skills and cuddling a friendly prostitute.
Continually harassed by some of the most unconvincing hoodlums that have ever been committed to celluloid (there are literally millions of people out there who could fit the role of 'Thug #4', so why filmmakers feel the consistent need to draw incredibly fake tattoos on supporting actors is beyond me). These rough kids from the wrong side of the street make his life miserable (in a pretty non-threatening way, truth be told) and we can see that he's a man who may soon crack.
This is where the trouble begins, primarily and most significantly, Method Man is wholly unsuitable for this part. Method Man is wholly unsuitable for most parts in which he is required to do anything other than be Method Man. He is not a good actor and in this, his lack of ability is accentuated tenfold. The film was shot in 3D for reasons which are far beyond my comprehension, for it is a melodrama. The last time I checked, melodramas were not top of the list on 3D. Shall I await the extended reboot of Ulee's Gold 3D? On Golden Pond 3D? The Erotic Adventures of Harold & Maude 3D? Anyway, I digress. Meth is a wonderful personality; an entertainer and (occasionally) a great rapper. None of these skills, however, are required or suitable for the role of a bookish, bullied, meek individual. Every time the camera zooms in on him, the viewer gets the impression that he's thinking; 'this is my acting face'.
It's not just the acting that's at fault here, the sets are well utilized and do give a strong sense of deterioration within a working class environment, which is a theme which could have been explored in greater depth within the film. Meth's old time dress sense is a nice touch, but his outfits look so pristine that they are clearly taken from the set dresser's rail. He looks like a man who has been dressed for a role and this only makes him more awkward in his appearance, and not in the manner of which he desires. The shrugs and stooped gait are not enough for the character to become real to us. He also keeps walking around a lot and looking at things. This happens in most films, but the problem with this is that for the first 30 minutes, this is about all you get.
You get drawn into his facial expressions so much because there's so little else to focus on.
Then something happens (which I won't go into for now) and the appearance of Edward Furlong (looking so tired and haggard that my viewing companion thought it was Rob Schneider) and Wendell Peirce (The Wire, Treme) brings a short lived bout of excitement (but they are both gone again as soon as they appear, not to be heard from again at all really). Peirce's use of the word 'laddybuck' remains the film's highlight for me.
The main antagonist starts to turn the heat up on Meth as he drives around listening to the same Method Man song on his car stereo. He is listening to the same song in every scene that he has in the car and it becomes both somewhat irritating and unnecessary.
By the time something does happen, the filmmakers have clearly decided that we need to be informed of this (as most will have fallen asleep) and so they blast some of the worst 'suspense' music I've heard used in a long time. There are also extended sax solos at some of the depressing scenes which can only help to lighten the mood. I love sax solos, especially when they are used to highlight the severity of a situation or the revelation of a chilling back-story. The film gets bonus points for this.
You spend so much time for Meth to revert to gangsta mode and start busting heads. I will let you find out for yourself how, when and if this actually happens at all. The levels of melodrama in this range from the acceptable to the soap opera and so it's hard to be overly enthusiastic about this film. It would have made a good short, or an episode of a TV show, but as a feature length, it becomes a chore to get through. It's fine, but as we all speed towards our own tenure on the mortician's slab, we should probably aim for better than 'fine'.
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