"'The Mortician' is a film that raises mixed feelings because it is half successful and half unsuccessful. The main problem is that as a viewer you want to find the film more interesting than it really is. At many moments you will be reminded that a much better film is hidden in the material than comes out.
"The main problem is in the thin plot and the matt direction. The film starts promising: In a heavily derelict city full of empty and crumbling buildings, a lonely, taciturn "Mortician" (of which later more) runs across the street at night. He is witnessing how a dead woman is thrown into the water by a man. He is not the only witness: a young boy also sees it happening. Intrigues enough: what happened that all order and normal life seems to have fallen away? Why does the Mortician continue to watch? Who is the boy and what is his relation to the dead woman? Was the woman killed?
"The Method Man, who is known as a rapper, is just as silent here as Rambo in 'First Blood' as the titular Mortician, but has enough appeal to stay interesting. His unusual clothing, a three-piece suit and a bowler hat, in the dirty and graffiti-sprayed streets forms a beautiful contrast. Lashed with excellent music, the Mortician performs his routine actions: he examines the many bodies that are brought in, hastily walks to his flaking apartment, full of stuffed animals - he is taxidermist in his spare time - and occasionally visits the sympathetic prostitute Ava (Dana Fuchs). Then the probation service - there is still a somewhat functioning government - assigns him the agitated gang member Noah (E.J. Bonilla) as bearer and not much later also the boy in his mortuary. The aggressive gang leader Carver (Dash Mihok) starts harassing the Mortician, especially about the boy. The dead woman comes, not unexpectedly, to his cutting table and appears to have a tattoo of "The Birth of Venus" by Botticelli on her stomach. And then, well, then not that much special happens. Is it a character study? A thriller? A combination of both?
"Gareth Maxwell Roberts (who also wrote the script) continues to stimulate with recurrent flashbacks to the youth of the Mortician in which the Botticelli painting plays a major role. Although Roberts has a number of good ideas, she is not able to connect well with each other and forge them in one convincing way. However, he has excellent and atmospheric camera work by Michael McDonough to fall back on. In a small role, incidentally, the fallen child star Edward Furlong also appears.
"The film was shot in 3D in 2011, which is an unusual choice, given that it is mostly spectacle films with many visual effects that are selected for that format. But the oddest thing about the film is the title. A "mortician" means "funeral director" or "carer" in the Dutch translation, while in the film he works as a coroner, or "coroner". It is an essential difference: the funeral director does not carry out a forensic investigation into the cause of death. At least it seems that Method Man acts as a coroner. The reason that has been suggested by others is that "The Mortician" sounds cooler as a title. That sounds plausible, but it is typical of Roberts' entire film: the sum of the parts just does not fit."