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Cleaner




I wouldn't be surprised if not many of you have heard of this 2007 crime thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson as a former detective turned 'cleaner'. This Renny Harlin directed flick came and went in a blink of an eye. I can see why though, it doesn't have anything that really stands out as extraordinary and despite a rather interesting and engaging set-up, the second half of the film meanders around until the credits hit. Some films simply cannot keep the steam running until the end and the Cleaner is a perfect example.

Jackson plays Tom Cutler, a former detective turned cleaner. A cleaner is someone who cleans up after the crime scene. Usually, the cops will take the body away, but leave you with the mess. This is where Cutler comes in. His most recent job has him cleaning up a homicide in a fancy house. The owner informs him the key is under the potted plant. Cutler goes in doe his job and leaves. He remembers that he forgot to leave the key and heads back the next day only to find the homeowner, Ann Norcut (Eva Mendes) having no idea who he is or what he does. Now realizing he just cleaned up a murder before it's been called in, Cutler turns to his former partner Lorenzo (Ed Harris) for help.

Have you ever watched a movie or a tv show and a certain actor pops up and you instantly know that they are the bad guy? Yeah, it's unfortunate but it happens when those actors appear and it ultimately hurts the so-called reveals. Cleaner suffers from this as soon as this individual shows up and it's clear. The cast does well enough to fill their standard roles. Jackson plays Cutler with OCD tendencies, constantly cleaning his hands. Mendes almost has a femme fatale vibe to her. Luis Guzman plays a detective on the case and ultimately on Jackson's trail. It's nice to see him in a serious role, but the eluding police to solve the case yourself cliche is pretty sparse here. At less than 1hr 30 min, I didn't hate myself for watching it. Which is saying something these days.