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Friday night my wife and I went to see Code Name: The Cleaner, staring
Cedric Kyles (AKA Cedric the Entertainer) and Lucy Liu. It's about
Jake, a man who wakes up in a hotel room, next to a dead body, with no
memory of who he is or how he got there. As events unfold around him,
he starts to recollect that he is a secret agent, and puts together
that he was working undercover as a janitor on a deadly mission.
This was another fun movie. It had a PG-13 rating but I would say that it was a fairly mild PG-13 (a few shootouts and Nicollette Sheridan in her undies), so I wouldn't worry too much about taking a 13 year old to see it. It's the first movie I've seen with Cedric in the lead role and only the second with him in it at all (Serving Sara was the first). I really liked him. He was absolutely hilarious without going over the top. Of course Lucy Liu is always a sight to behold.
The rating it has received on IMDb was a dismal 3.0 but that was because a significant number (52%) of the votes were a 1. I suspect that the movie or one of it's actors really perturbed some group, so they retaliated with a vote drive. There is no way this movie rated a 1. I personally gave it a 7 and my wife tells me we will own this.
Incidentally, stick around for the first half of the credits. The show some very good outtakes.
For a James Bond prototype, this isn't that bad. One of the few that deserve more attention then they really get. The only other 'Bond' prototype that is as funny as this one would be Johnny English. Yes, we all have seen the plot, but it's the twist to the storyline that keeps it interesting. This time our hero wakes up in a hotel room, on the bed next to the dead man's body. It starts out more of a mystery, then quickens the pace just before the half way mark comes. Cedric is clearly at the top of his game both pyhsically and in his jokes. For sure he does a better job at keeping his material censored, heck, depending on the child, this could even be a kids movie.
Codename: The Cleaner reviewed by Sam Osborn
Welcome to January, generally known as the first of two months that consist mostly of studio duds poured discretely from the back of the release slate and into your multiplexes. Like a late August release, January and February releases generally spell 'trash,' with the best of them offering only a nonsensical relief from the heavy, fading awards season. Thus, we have Codename: The Cleaner.
It's the latest work from director Les Mayfield, a man whose earlier films (Flubber, American Outlaws, The Man) are best described as righteously mediocre. This January gem weighs in on a case of missing identity and FBI espionage with Cedric the Entertainer playing Jake Rodgers, waking up in a hotel bed with a dead FBI agent and a cut above his ear. His memory's been fried, leaving him without a name and only fragments of what looks to be a secrets ops combat mission batting around his brain. Dianeplayed by Nicollete Sheridan, whose beauty has been stretched and manipulated to the point of mimicking a mask from White Chicksapproaches Jake in the hotel lobby, filling him in on some important details pertaining to their supposed marriage and occupation of a bloated estate mansion. It all turns out to be farce, however, when Jake overhears Diane plotting to send Jake into cardiac arrest over a bit of information surrounding a computer chip. Soon Jake's on the run, doing his best play-pretend imitation of spy work, trying to hunt down the computer chip and unveil his own identity.
Like last year's You, Me, and Dupree, Codename: The Cleaner banks heavily on the likability of its lead, giving him the screen-time equivalent of carte blanche. But where Owen Wilson's sly, sandy-haired innocence can grow tiresome, Cedric's rotund antics are nothing if not charming. He leaps to great and often desperate lengths to mine a chuckle, but sometimes surprises us by shoveling out something truly hilarious. So it's a shame that the material surrounding him offers little more than static. Lucy Liu is superbly misused as Jake's girlfriend, rattling off forced punch-lines and rickety, unfitting "sistah" feistiness to match Ms. Sheridan's miscasting as the young, busty blonde (the joke here, I suppose, is that Ms Sheridan's peaked forty). The plot feels improvised; so weak that is seems to modify itself according to whatever improvisation Cedric throws at the script. It all comes together like a Jackie Chan Hong Kong action picture, only with Cedric the Entertainer doing the karate. It works, but only if you slouch in your seat and let your ears and eyes glaze over in a popcorn haze. It is January, after all.
Cedric the Entertainer is certainly a talented comedian, but with a script this boring and stupid, even he couldn't breathe life into this horrible mess of a comedy. Despite the bad reviews, I was still slightly eager to check out the movie. The year has just started and already I have a candidate for the worst movies of 2007. The spy comedy has been done to death. And the fact that the writers had nothing new to bring to the table didn't help. I must've chuckled a total of 5 times, and received no laughs whatsoever. As the movie (thankfully) approached its conclusion, I jokingly thought to myself, "This is probably one of those flicks that contains a gag reel over the closing credits." Well...I was right! I frequently disapprove of gag reels over the credits of good movies. When you show a gag reel after a bad movie, it's like rubbing salt on a wound. The only part of this movie worth checking out is Nicolette Sheridan doing an erotic dance in her lingerie. If the movie ever makes it to HBO On Demand, I suggest you just fast-forward to that particular scene, mute the sound, and watch it in a loop. Yes, it's that friggin' hot! As for the comedy, expect your usual assortment of bland, crude, sitcom-style gags. If you can't see the punchlines to each gag coming a mile away, you might want to consider getting a cat scan. In one scene, a janitor (one of Cedric's co-workers) is interrogated by a federal agent in a restroom. The agent points a gun at him, urging him to give him some information about Cedric's character. The janitor is an aspiring rapper, and goes on a whole rant about how he wants to be shot, since he wants to be the first rapper to write his songs while in a coma. He bends over, begging the agent to shoot him in the backside. The agent eventually leaves the restroom, as the janitor keeps screaming out, "Put a bullet in my a**! Put it in my a**! Put it in my as**!" And--guess what--one of his fellow janitors strolls into the restroom as he continues to scream out, "Put it in my a**!" Unless you're a teenager who will laugh at all things scatological, you might want to consider putting a bullet in your own rear end for finding an outrageously stupid gag like that funny. My God! How screenwriters actually get paid to write this crap still boggles my mind! A man of Cedric's talent is capable of doing much, much more, as he's shown in the "Barbershop" movies. But when given rotten material like this, he attempts to mend each failed joke with improvisation, which in turn makes the jokes even more annoying.
I don't know why some people slander this movie. They should get some
antidepressants or something - somethings not right with these people
This movie is well made, has good actors doing a great job, interesting (but somewhat predictable) plot! It has pretty much everything you want from a nice action/comedy movie and I certainly enjoyed the movie a lot.
I almost gave it a seven but I'm a cheap b*stard - and even if it's closer to a seven than six - it falls just short of it... =)
I just made up my mind - why the h*ll not...
I had seen the trailer for "Code Name: The Cleaner". It looked like a
spy spoof. However, more importantly it starred very hot movie starlets
Lucy Liu and Nichollette Sheridan ("Desperate Housewives"). Gathering
from the trailers Cedric the Entertainer's character is suffering from
some sort of amnesia. He finds out he has a white wife played by
Nichollette Sheridan and a mansion. Cedric the Entertainer says, "I
must be Lionel Richie." I thought that was hilarious. However, I am
old. Audiences today are more familiar with the arrests and eating
habits of his daughter Nicole Richie. Thus, this is the inherent
miscalculation of "Code Name: The Cleaner". The movie was probably
funny to those making the movie, without a tangible audience in mind.
Too bad. I really like Cedric the Entertainerhe is funny. But he is so
off the mark here. Sexy Nichollette Sheridan is whacked out as the
femme fa-tale Diane posing as Jake's (Cedric the Entertainer) wife. The
only thing that could have saved the movie is if her lingerie
mysteriously slipped off her stunning body. Really, too bad. Lucy Liu
looks fabulous and looks killer in the marital arts action sequences.
Her fight scene with Sheridan could have been a lot longer. Also, too
There is little redeeming in "Code Name: The Cleaner" other than its stars. For that blame the lameness of Director Les Mayfield and the horrendous writing of Robert Adetuyi and George Gallo. The tell tale symptom of this miserable collapse is that the most entertaining part of the movie are the outtakes at the end. Seems at least the cast and crew were having fun. One can only hope that there is more of Cedric, Sheridan, and Liu in the DVD release. Don't hold your breath.
Watching this movie, I kept thinking they couldn't afford to have a
real script written, and must have run out of money when they were
about 2/3 of the way through, and couldn't finish editing it. Not to
mention, they probably couldn't afford Martin Lawrence for the lead
role, so they filled it with Cedric the Entertainer, who does better in
supporting roles. Cedric does have several funny scenes, though.
The plot is completely unintelligible, and undeveloped, but based on the genre you can predict most of the action. It's the ever-popular "hero has something secret the bad guys want, so they can sell it to terrorists for a fortune, but it's missing." Not to mention, the scenes or "shticks" that have been better done elsewhere. For example, every time Cedric tried to be funny with judo moves, I kept thinking that he ripped that off from Martin, who does it much better. There is a brief cat-fight scene that is far inferior to the one in Undercover Brother (which is an excellent movie, and much funnier overall).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I caught myself falling to sleep during "code name: Cleaner." The
previews of other movies were better than this movie. Lucy Liu is the
only redemption but she cannot carry this weak movie. The story seems
to have been written by 5th graders making it up as they went. Cedric
the Entertainer tries but he was given a weak script. Lucy Liu is a
cutesy thing. She is a pleasure to watch, but the writers did not write
enough good stuff for her. Nicolette Sheridan's role is so bad that her
bloopers at the end of the movie are her best lines. Speaking of
bloopers, it was not only Nicolette but all the major players who
shined in the bloopers. The bloopers outshone the movie. The bloopers
proved that the actors could improvise better material than the writers
Those fews morsels that you saw on the previews? Well, those were the highlights of the movie and there was not much more. This movie could have been made into a nice 10 minute short story.
The emotional payoffs were weak.
The plot is contrived. A contrived plot can be forgiven if it is the springboard to a good movie. This contrived plot did not deliver. I could think of so many funnier, more entertaining things to do with Lucy Liu and Cedric. Lucy and Cedric tried their best.
Lucy Liu's role is similar to the role that she played in Lucky Slevin. She played the cute, sexy, nicely dressed very lovable soft core porn object - except in "Cleaner" they took away any overt sexuality and they dressed her more like a nun than the sexy woman that we love.
There was potential in this movie. Cedric and Lucy have proved track records. I went to the movie craving more of what I have seen in prior movies with these established stars, but the directors/ writers did not know what to do with these stars. It reminds me of a person who does not know how do drive a stick shift. They did not know what they were doing. It was pathetic.
Winter 2006/ 2007 has been a sad season for movies. I came home disappointed from this movie. I got more entertainment from YouTube and reruns on the internet.
I have no idea why I rented this film. It must have been the name Lucy
Liu. This type of comedy is not something I like, though it probably
will appeal to some.
The Cleaner from 2007 stars Cedric Kyles, Lucy Liu, and Nicolette Sheridan. Jake (Kyles) wakes up in a hotel with a dead body next to him. He has no memory of who he is or what he's doing in the hotel. Then he meets a beautiful blond, Diane (Sheridan) who claims to be his wife. When he goes to a restaurant, the waitress (Liu) pours a pitcher of cold water on him -- he doesn't remember having any relationship with her, but she's plenty angry.
Slowly he starts to realize that he was a secret agent undercover as a janitor, and that his enemies want something he has.
To be honest, the outtakes shown at the end were funnier.
Cedric the Entertainer, as he is called, is funny with a nice presence, but this movie was just a lot of slapstick and shootouts. Lucy Liu was sexy and tough in her role -- it turns out she's an agent. There just wasn't much to it as far as humor. Mark Dacascos is so handsome, it was almost worth watching it for him.
I don't have too much to say -- if it weren't for the fact that Nicolette Sheridan prances around in her skimpy underwear, a five year old might enjoy this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After reading the reviews posted by others the phrase "White folks"
come to mind. The reviews posted appear to me to be posted by white
folk who don't have a sense of humor. And...yes...my skin color is
"Code Name: the Cleaner" never loses sight of the fact that it is brain candy. It intended to be somewhat silly fun, and it succeeds. The film doesn't take itself too seriously...definitely plays up the babe factor in a great manner (Thank god it is Nicolette Sheridan instead of Elizabeth Hurley; Hurley couldn't be as tastefully slutty as Nicolette!)...and it understands the concept of parody.
The film also does a good parody of racial relations. The amnesiac Cedric being sold that he is Nicolette's husband and the interaction at the house with the Butler (Where's my Jet!) is an absolute scream! Only staid old white folk won't find this to be very funny.
This film ranks with "Undercover Brother" and "Amos & Andy" and "Blazing Saddles" as "get lit and get laughing flicks."
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