2018-05-23 23:43 KST  
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
'Code Name: The Cleaner' One to Sweep Away
Cedric the Entertainer strikes out again with this action/comedy
Brian Orndorf (briano)     Print Article 
Published 2007-01-05 11:20 (KST)   
©2007 New Line Cinema
It's hard to root for Cedric the Entertainer anymore. He's a funny man with a rotund, quick wit, and love for silly-heart comedy, but he always finds himself tangled up in the lamest excuses for big screen merriment. "Code Name: The Cleaner" is the latest in a long string of duds for Cedric, but this misfire stands out from the pack ("The Honeymooners," "Man of the House") as the most tired of them all.

Jake Rodgers (Cedric the Entertainer) has just awoken in a posh hotel next to a dead FBI agent. Stricken with amnesia after a forceful head blow, Jake escapes with briefcase of cash and only the vague details of his life to work with. Chased by rogue agents and spousal impostors (Nicolette Sheridan), Jake finds comfort in the arms of his "boo," a waitress named Gina (Lucy Liu), who might not be all she's cracked up to be. Piecing together the reasons people want him dead, Jake uses his friends and wits to keep himself alive long enough to sort everything out.

OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Technology Can Save Money, Planet
[Opinion] Iran Defends Peaceful 'Right'
Couchsurfing in Gaza
Blissfully Yours
An Education
[Opinion Essay] J셙ccuse!
The Blind Side
Last Train Home
For "The Cleaner," the producers have hired a director who has been down the action/urban comedy path before. His name is Les Mayfield, and he's one of the most blatant studio hacks around. Mayfield was also behind "Blue Streak" and "The Man," so hope for any level of quality is quickly dashed when this guy's name is attached.

Sadly, Mayfield lives up to those meager expectations and runs through the paces of "The Cleaner" like the directorial robot he is. There's no verve to any of this movie, just a series of flat-tire sequences that only occasionally connect to each other; laughable attempts to arrange nick-of-time escapes for Jake, and action that resembles cut scenes from "Walker, Texas Ranger." It looks like Mayfield has convinced himself he has a surefire formula for this material, but when splashed across the screen, it dies immediately. "The Cleaner" is as basic and routine as a PG-13 urban actioner can get, and there's only one element that could possibly save it.

With the whole comedic punch of the movie riding on his shoulders, Cedric the Entertainer isn't in an enviable position. I'll write it again: he is one hilarious performer. However, push him into a corner with an awful screenplay, and he flounders. Cedric tries to tart up the dreary atmosphere with some goofy one-liners (asking his newfound butler for a Spider-Man kite was a personal favorite) and moments of dress-up, but that stuff only gets titters. The rest of the time, the actor is trying to keep a straight face during this ridiculously overcooked plot (something about a video game company and a computer chip that could destroy the world ... I think), and hoping that blatant plugs for Skittles, Quiznos, and Best Buy don't look and sound like blatant plugs. He fails.

Lucy Liu and Cedric the Entertainer in 'Code Name: The Cleaner'
©2007 New Line Cinema

Expectedly, "The Cleaner" wraps up with some studio-mandated martial art standoffs and gunplay. It also offers the viewer a dream sequence with Sheridan and Liu fighting in a bubble bath, but in the best Les Mayfield manner, it only lasts for a brief, flickering moment. What isn't over in a moment? The rest of this dud.

Which film do you think should win the Oscar for Best Picture?  (2007-01-24 ~ 2007-02-14)
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
None of the above
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Brian Orndorf

Add to :  Add to Del.icio.usDel.icio.us |  Add to Digg this Digg  |  Add to reddit reddit |  Add to Y! MyWeb Y! MyWeb

Ronda Hauben
Netizens Question Cause of Cheonan Tragedy
Michael Werbowski
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Michael Solis
Arizona's Immigration Bill and Korea
Yehonathan Tommer
Assassination in Dubai
[ESL/EFL Podcast] Saying No
Seventeenth in a series of English language lessons from Jennifer Lebedev...
  [ESL/EFL] Talking About Change
  [ESL/ EFL Podcast] Personal Finances
  [ESL/EFL] Buying and Selling
How worried are you about the H1N1 influenza virus?
  Very worried
  Somewhat worried
  Not yet
  Not at all
    * Vote to see the result.   
  copyright 1999 - 2018 ohmynews all rights reserved. internews@ohmynews.com Tel:+82-2-733-5505,5595(ext.125) Fax:+82-2-733-5011,5077