With a script that couldn’t find 22 minutes of jokes to fill a sitcom on the USA Network, even Cedric the Entertainer can’t make this attempt at comedy anything but inert. It want to be a spy spoof. It’s a spy doof. I know, that isn’t funny, but after sitting through a very long 84 minutes of “Code Name: Cleaner,” my standards are pretty low.
Jake (Cedric) wakes up in a hotel room next to a dead FBI agent and a suitcase filled with cash. He can’t remember who he is or how it got there. He grabs the case and runs…into a beautiful blonde (Nicolette Sheridan), who tells him that he is a very wealthy man and she is his wife. But something about the luxurious estate she tells him is his home doesn’t seem right to him, so he runs…into a beautiful waitress (Lucy Liu) who says she is his “boo” and tries to help him figure out what is going on.
Chase, joke, shoot-out, would-be joke, product placement, kick-boxing, more product placement (it feels like an infomercial for a candy and a fast food place), desperate attempt at a joke, and, 84 long minutes later, it’s all over but the credit-sequence outtakes, livelier than anything the previous 83 minutes had to offer. Cedric might just want to clean this one right off his resume.
Parents should know that the movie has some action-style violence — shooting, punching, kick-boxing, car chases. There is a dead body with some blood. Characters use brief strong language and there are some crude sexual humor, including making fun of a gay man and spanking an elderly lady (who enjoys it), and some bathroom jokes. Women wear scanty clothing. A strength of the movie is the portrayal of diverse characters.
Families who see this movie should talk about why there are so many movies about loss of memory.
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy The Man Who Knew Too Little and Johnny English. They may also enjoy 60’s spy spoofs Our Man Flint and the Matt Helm series.