New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Cedric The Entertainner, Lucy Liu, Nicollette Sheridan, Mark Dacascos, Will Patton
Extras: Featurette, Trailers
When I read the announcement of "Code Name: The Cleaner" some time ago the movie sounded like a fun little comedy and I decided to give it a spin when the disc arrives. Finally the disc has arrived and without hesitation I popped in this film starring Cedric The Entertainer and Lucy Liu to see how it fares.
Jake Rodgers (Cedric The Entertainer) wakes up in a hotel room he's never seen. Beside him is a dead, blood-covered FBI agent and a briefcase filled with stacks of money. "What happened? How did I get here and more importantly, who am I?" are the questions racing through his mind. Could it be that he is an undercover operative or is he simply a janitor? Who is right, the hot blonde (Nicollette Sheridan) who tells him she's his wife while trying to kill him, or the diner waitress Gina (Lucy Liu) claiming to be his girlfriend? Thus starts a cat and mouse game of intrigue as Jake tries to recover his real identity.
While not an entirely bad movie I have to admit I was disappointed with "Code Name: The Cleaner" somewhat. The film could never decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a real thriller. It's neither funny, nor really suspenseful and it certainly doesn't contain the plot twists that would make it a valuable thriller entry. So it meddles along somewhere in the middle with a funny line here and there, and Cedric desperately trying to be slapstick-funny and failing horribly with his shtick, and some actioney chases without really grabbing the viewer.
Dialogues are also painful at times, especially Jake's character saying out loud every single one of his thoughts is just plain poor filmmaking practice and show's the filmmakers' and probably Cedric's acting limitations. The only highlight in the film is Lucy Liu with her over the top performance that is so reminiscent of her Ling character from Alley McBeal that made her famous.
New Line is presenting the film in its 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD. The transfer is clean and free of any blemishes or defects. With good detail and sharpness the transfer also offers strong colors that never bleed. Skin tones are natural and with its balanced contrast the picture looks absolutely solid and pleasant throughout. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression is without artifacts.
The audio is coming to you via a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is making good use of the surround channels. Having some action sequences the film is using the discrete surround channels aggressively and effectively without ever overwhelming the viewer. Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable.
As an extra you will find the featurette "Moppin' Up With The Cleaning Crew" on the disc. This 20-minute featurette takes you behind the scenes of the film and offers up a series of interviews with cast and crew members as well as some on-set footage. It is nothing overly revealing and plays a lot like a promo featurette designed to sell the movie to audiences.
Also included is the movie's trailer as well as trailers for some other New Line movies.
Overall "Code Name: The Cleaner" is a film that manages to fill 90-minutes of your time with entertainment but it is certainly not a film to write home about. It offers a bit of lightweight comedy with some lightweight thriller elements and as such certainly warrants a rental if you're in the mood.