Deadly com­edy

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews -

CODE NAME: THE CLEANER Di­rected by Les May­field. Star­ring Cedric the En­ter­tainer, Lucy Liu, Ni­col­lette Sheri­dan 12A cert, gen re­lease, 84 min

IF THE movies have taught us any­thing, it is that a bump on the head can wipe the me­mory clean and make a tab­ula rasa of the mind. Well, ever since the cred­its rolled on the latest out­rage from the mis­lead­ingly named Cedric the En­ter­tainer, I’ve been vig­or­ously smash­ing my skull against ev­ery hard sur­face I en­counter. Re­gret­tably, some traces of the film’s chaotic plot and ran­cid per­for­mances still refuse to budge.

Code Name: The Cleaner be­gins with Cedric, a man of great girth but lit­tle sub­tlety, wak­ing up in a ho­tel bed­room be­side a dead FBI agent. The pro­fane be­he­moth, whose head spills trick­les of blood, can­not re­mem­ber who he is or how he got there. As events unfurl, var­i­ous iden­ti­ties an­nounce them­selves: an in­sanely wealthy golf en­thu­si­ast; a jan­i­tor at a video game com­pany; a se­cret agent with deadly hands.

At some stage, the film-mak­ers must have in­tended their unlovely en­tity as a rol­lick­ing par­ody of the Bourne films. Too many other ter­ri­ble ideas have, how­ever, el­bowed their way into the script, and we end up with a dis­or­dered hash whose only sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment is to avoid im­me­di­ate ban­ish­ment to the bot­tom shelf in the video store. For­get about it.

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