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Codename: The Cleaner (2 stars)

(12A) 84min

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Codename: The Cleaner

COMEDY

So-called comedian Cedric the Entertainer should change his name to Cedric the Complete Non-Event on the evidence of this painfully un-entertaining spoof on the Jason Bourne movies. Having directed genuinely unfunny vehicles for Martin Lawrence (Blue Streak) and Robin Williams (Flubber), Les Mayfield (real name) plumbs similar comedic depths as our hero wakes up with a dead FBI man and a suitcase full of money but no memory of who he is or how he ended up there.

Is Jake a super-spy or just a humble janitor who happened to stumble in on a plot involving a stolen microchip? It’s hard to tell or care, particularly when the kind of espionage situations depicted involve impersonating an outrageously camp Dutch clog dancer. Things aren’t helped by a phoned-in performance from Lucy Liu as Jake’s boss, and hatchet-faced desperate housewife Nicollette Sheridan performing a demeaning striptease that showcases her skeleton-like physique in its full and ghastly glory.

To add insult to injury, Mayfield’s soggy bog-roll of a comedy has been confusingly titled to evoke fond memories of 1982’s James Glickenhaus’s numbskull Cold War auctioneer Codename: The Soldier, a battered VHS copy of which would be infinitely preferable to the haplessly assembled minstrelsy offered here.

Selected release from Fri 7 Dec.

Code Name: The Cleaner

  • 2 stars
  • 2007
  • US
  • 84 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Les Mayfield
  • Written by: Robert Adetuyi, George Gallo
  • Cast: Cedric the Entertainer, Lucy Liu, Callum Keith Rennie, Nicollette Sheridan, Will Patton

The director of 'Flubber' plumbs new comedic depths in this painfully unfunny spoof on the Jason Bourne movies. Our hero wakes up with a dead FBI Agent, a suitcase full of money and no memory of how he got there. Is he a super-spy or just a humble janitor who happened to stumble in on a plot involving a stolen microchip?

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