Tuesday, May 05, 2009

CLEANER - justifiably overlooked DVD of the month

Renny Harlin (DIE HARD 2) directs a contemporary thriller penned by debutant writer Matthew Aldrich. The whodunnit has a nice original concept - Samuel L Jackson plays an ex-cop widower who runs a company that specialises in cleaning up crime scenes. All goes tits up when he cleans up a particularly grizzly murder BEFORE the police have been called in, thus flushing away the evidence. The problem is that the whodunnit is fairly obvious thanks to the type-casting of Eva Mendes as a femme fatale and the fact that you wouldn't cast Ed Harris for anything other than a leading role. Moreover, Sam Jackson's personality and same-y acting once again overwhelms any particular nuances in his character. In fact, I was pretty undewhelmed by the performances of all three leads. Only Keke Palmer does a decent job playing the daughter of the Sam Jackson character. So, despite striking visuals and a rather deliberately artful voice-over style, definitely one to avoid.

CLEANER played Toronto 2007 and was released in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Russia, France, Taiwan and Israel last year. It was released in Japan earlier this year and will be released in Spain on June 12th. It went straight to DVD in the US, UK and Australia.

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