Code Name: The Cleaner (2007) Starring: Cedric the Entertainer, Nicolette Sheridan, and Lucy Liu DIRECTOR: Les Mayfield WRITERS: George Gallo, Ryan Oxford, David Rotman, Robert Adetuyi PRODUCERS: Lucy Liu, A.J. Dix, Brett Ratner, Eric Rhone, Cedric the Entertainer, Jay Stern, Eric Rhone GENRES: Action, Comedy RATING: PG-13 for sexual content, crude humor and some violence. DISTRIBUTOR: New Line Cinema
Cedric the Entertainer is entertaining in small doses. I thought he was quite comical in "Barbershop." Lucy Liu is entertaining in small doses. She's easy on the eyes. Nicollette Sheridan is entertaining in small doses. She's sexy on TV. With that said, they are not entertaining in a full-length film I'm not sure who thought they would be entertaining together. I'm also not sure why anyone agreed to act in this film. I'm also not sure why Cedric the Entertainer is a producer on this film. I'm also quite befuddled by scenes of ass-smacking in this film. I'd like to pose a question to everyone in this film: When you are handed a script titled "Code Name: The Cleaner," what goes through your mind? Do you think the film might be entertaining in some weird way? Do you know it's just for money? Do you think it's good? These are questions that will keep me up tonight.
"Code Name: The Cleaner" opens up following Jake Rodgers, who is played by Cedric the Entertainer. He wakes up in a hotel room next to a dead CIA agent and a briefcase full of money. He's not sure who he is or how he got here. Jake is even more confused when he finds out that he's married to the sexy Nicollette Sheridan. She informs him that he's a Special Forces Operative entangled in a high-level government conspiracy. RIGHT. It doesn't take long for Jake to realize that this woman is not his wife. She's out to get him. Following this, Jake finds himself at a restaurant. He ends up meeting Lucy Lui, who claims to be his girlfriend. Jake is befuddled by the fact that he's dating two gorgeous women. What's going on in Jake's life? Who is really his wife? Why can't he remember anything? What's up with the money? These are all pressing questions that the world needs to know. We shouldn't need this many questions in a comedy. We should sit back and chuckle. Sadly, I only chuckled about three times while watching this movie.
I chuckled at the same lines that were in the trailer for this film.
As stated above, "Code Name: The Cleaner" is rather hard to follow. The plot is all over the map. I don't think a comedy needs a plot that is this complex. I didn't understand a lot of the plot twists in this movie. This should have been a simple comedy. Instead, we are trying to pick up the pieces in this film. Needless to say, this is not a film that is worth picking up after. I think this film will find itself next to "Undercover Brother" in bargain bins worldwide. Not to pull a Roger Ebert, but I can't help but feel like this film could have been funny somehow. It just needed a different cast. It also needed some direction. The script looks like it was written about ten times too many. If this film had a likable star, that would have been a step in the right direction. No disrespect to Cedric, but he's not ready to carry a film yet. Also, the film needed more moments of humor and comedy. Instead, it focuses too much on unnecessary action scenes that go nowhere.
"Code Name: The Cleaner" has the look and feel of a straight-to-DVD release. I'm not sure why anyone would green light this project for a theatrical run. I remember seeing the trailer for this film during "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning." I don't think a single person laughed. It was awkward silence. I let out a quiet chuckle during Cedric's line about Lionel Richie. After I realized that no one in the theater laughed, I put my head down in my shame. I'm easily amused. Even so, this film didn't amuse me in the least. Let's do a quick check here: Is the premise funny? No. How's the cast? Average. How many laughs? I'd say one maybe two laughs. Considering the only laughs were during the trailer, I take it back. Why use all of your best jokes for the trailer? I should say best "joke." I expect "Code Name: The Cleaner" to be a film that many people will forget about by Summer.
I've already forgotten about it.
"Moppin' Up with the Cleaning Crew" Featurette: This feature runs at twenty-minutes and sits down with the entire cast. This is your standard behind-the-scenes feature. We hear from the girls about how much they wanted to work with Cedric. He must be one charming man.
Final Thoughts: "Code Name: The Cleaner" is a mess of epic proportions. I wouldn't recommend this film to my worst enemy.