'Codename -The Cleaner'
(Cedric the Entertainer, Lucy Liu, Nicollette Sheridan, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2007 / New Line)
Overview: Cedric the Entertainer plays Jake, a seemingly regular guy who has no idea who he is after being hit over the head by mysterious assailants; when he finds himself entangled in a government conspiracy, Jake and his pursuers become convinced that he is an undercover agent.
DVD Verdict: Imagine waking up in the morning with amnesia ... next to a dead guy ... in a hotel room ... that you know nothing about! Such is the unenviable scenario facing Jake (Cedric the Entertainer), a seemingly normal guy who canít help but be confused about how he managed to get where he woke up ... or where the sizable gash on his head came from! And yet he still knows that when you see a briefcase full of cash, you take it. At which point Diane (Nicolette Sheridan), a beautiful, leggy, bosomy blonde, promptly arrives on the scene and whisks Jake back to a mansion she claims is his! Hmmm, not too shabby, I hear you say, but think again ... if you have a briefcase full of money that ain't yours, a stunningly-beautiful white woman claiming to be your wife who's always dressed like a Vic Sec model, well, surely it's gonna all come crashing down sooner rather than later?!
Well, that's the plot lowdown so let's concentrate on the acting. Cedric carries his hefty physique in such a way that would preclude him from being a serious actor even if he wanted to be - which is usually advantageous because heís a great comedian with flawless timing and ability to play off his paunchiness. But the hunt for a role suited to his projected dimwitted hip-hop style continues since his latest comes up well short. When you view Cedricís comedy you'll quickly realize that most cases when the comedy kills it was already shown in the action-packed trailer!
His cohort Liu can usually lighten up any movie, but what she is doing in this flick is way beyond me at this point! To my mind she is way too big a star to be in a quality of movie usually reserved for those actors trying to jumpstart or restart a career - but she gets the job done, albeit at the cost of Hollywood cred! Desperate Housewives star Sheridan bares more than enough skin to make up for her equally bad role choice. This mightíve made sense pre-Housewives, but now she more or less falls into the same category as Liu. Either way, itís hard to complain after seeing her in a few too-hot-for-Housewives scenes!
But, and with all thats aid, if you buy or rent this DVD there is only one scene and ONE SCENE ONLY that you will need to hunt out in the Scene Selection option ... Cedric's fantasically hilarious clog dancng scene! It has to be seen to be believed! Now THAT is funny! Mind you, the grandma-spanking scenes are somewhat of a small (gentle giggle) highlight also!! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
"Moppin' Up With The Cleaning Crew" Featurette