There's a good idea scratching to get out of this promising but dissatisfying comedy thriller. It starts with an intriguing storyline about Sheldon (Rob LaBelle), a geeky loans manager at the Hebrew National Bank, who seeks refuge with an a small-town Chevrah Kadisha or "Burial Society", a group of old devout Jewish men who practice ancient rituals on bodies before burial.
After, in the opening shots, we see Sheldon being dangled upside down from a road bridge, the idea of helping three aimiable old-timers, Hy, Marvin and Harry (Allan Rich, Bill Meilen, David Meilen), carry out their solemn duties doesn't sound bad at all.
However, a job at the Chevrah Kadisha is not the kind of thing that you can just sign on to at the local employment centre. It's old and revered, only for the religiously devout. In the first and best part of the film Sheldon must prove himself worthy of this secretive organisation in a series of tests.
First his Rabbi refuses admission, so Sheldon approaches the Chevrah Kadisha members themselves (catching the trio in the middle of a game of cards). What follows is an interesting and sometimes amusing game as the gentle, but sharp old men try to divine the true source of Sheldon's motives and his aptitude for the job. Sheldon tells them he is on the run from the mob, because they think he has stolen two million dollars off them. But it soon becomes apparent there is more to the story than this. Much more.
Unfortunately, debuting writer-director Nicholas Racz doesn't know when to stop playing games. The plot is highly elaborate taking so many twists and turns, that credibility is flung out the window and you don't where you are with each of the characters.
It seems like a missed opportunity. Crime and spirituality have provided a potent mix for the likes of Frances Ford Coppola and Abel Ferrara. More could have been made of Sheldon's relationship with the triumvirate of sages who, especially in the opening scenes, bring to the screen a warmth and gravitas. The film raises the possibility of something deeper and more meaningful, but turns into a silly runaround.