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Code Name The Cleaner


Stars: Cedric the Entertainer, Lucy Liu, Nicollette Sheridan, Mark Dacascos, Callum Keith Rennie, Will Patton

Director: Les Mayfield

This vehicle for chubby comic Cedric plays a comedy-thriller variation on the idea of someone who wakes up in the morning with a dead body lying beside them. Jake Rodgers (Cedric) is a janitor. Or is he a CIA agent? Diane (Sheridan) says she's his wife - 'Me, married to a white chick?' - but when she comes on to him in bra and panties, even the befuddled Jake can sense she's after more than sex.

Fleeing, he runs into waitress Gina (Liu) who, like everyone else in the movie, may not be what she seems. And there's Riley (Patton), who appears to be an old friend, but sends Jake such cryptic messages as 'You can't kill the man in the black coat until the eagle strikes'.

Jake thinks he remembers being a covert operative in army duds. But is it a figment of his imagination? It's not very funny, but tolerably entertaining in a Man from U.N.C.L.E., TV-style fashion. Cedric says 'Damn!' a lot, former action star Dacascos is sadly wasted as the villain, and Liu does her Charlie's Angels thing. Colourful and unpretentious, it could just do with a bit more inspiration in the script. Not good but not bad either.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Verve (New Line). Technicolor.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 03 Dec 2007