Code Name: The Cleaner

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Code Name: The Cleaner Movie Poster Image
Amnesia action-comedy might hurt your brain, too.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 84 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Terrible behavior all around: lying, cheating, killing, and lots of lust. Women are largely objectified, and stereotypes are constantly played for humor.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nothing here that you'd want your child emulating.

Violence

Jake first appears in a bed with a corpse (blood on pillow and body, blood on Jake's head); repeated "flashbacks" to action scenes show Jake in special forces unit (they carry and shoot guns, break windows, explode grenades, and engage in martial arts combat); Jake falls out a window onto a car; Gina frenzy-slaps Jake several times (treated as comedy); men shoot through the roof of Gina's car and she shoots back (both men presumably left dead); martial arts fights (kicks, hits, loud sound effects).

Sex

Sexual/comedy situations push edge of the PG-13 rating: Jake fondles the body in bed with him as he wakes, not seeing at first that it's a dead man; Jake's action-scene fantasy includes him slapping an old woman's butt by accident (she smiles and adjusts her skirt afterward); sexual dance by Diane in skimpy pink underwear (Jake refers to "little Jake" and calls Diane a "freak"); Jake is mistaken for online sexual partner by creepy guy (who notes the online user names "hotbuns69" and "sweaty and ready"); hiding in the car, Jake puts his face in Gina's lap and suggests he feels "someplace familiar" janitor raps about using a "plunger" creepy joke about Jake being "good at" sex; outtakes accompanying closing credits include more sex jokes, both verbal ("How long I been hittin' it?", "You making willy chilly") and visual (an especially egregious gag involves a man bending over and asking that a man with a gun "Put in my ass!").

Language

Frequent uses (over 10 each) of "damn," "s--t" (some accompanied by "bull"), and "hell,"(repeatedly, "Hell, no!"); also "dumbass," "bitch," "shut up, you idiot," and references to "Dutch chocolate" and "Mandingo" (referring to Jake).

Consumerism

Repeated images of Lacoste shirt, Jaguar and Saab cars, Skittles, Jet magazine, Sweet 'n' Low, Best Buy; verbal references to Tater Tots, Spider-man, Lionel Richie, Ricola, Papa John's, Quiznos, Crazy Chicken.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Use of "truth-telling" injection makes Jake look drunk and prompts a joke about the drug causing cardiac arrest ("his heart will explode"); hateful joke about an Asian hotel attendant's pronunciation ("refill the minibar" becomes "reefer in the minibar"); reference to mai tais.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this dreadful spy comedy pushes the PG-13 edge with regard to sexual imagery and humor. Main character Jake makes lots of crude jokes about his "prowess," and women constantly appear in various states of undress and/or otherwise show off their assets (Nicollette Sheridan essentially reprises her vavoomy Desperate Housewives role, but it's not funny here). The movie's action-comedy-style violence is broad and brutal (though mostly bloodless), including shooting, car crashes, grenades exploding, and martial arts fighting. Language is obnoxious, with slang and obscenities used througout, including repeated uses of "s--t," "damn," and "hell."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

this is a good moive

that movie was the best movie out of all the movie i seen but there was toooooooooo much sex!!! kides whach that movie too
Teen, 14 years old Written bydirecterdude123 April 9, 2008

Way funnyer than it looks!

When I got this movie it looked TERRIBLE! But I am really glad I watched it! There is quite a lot adult material tord the start of the movie but after that its... Continue reading

What's the story?

In CODE NAME: THE CLEANER, Jake (Cedric the Entertainer) finds himself in a hotel room bed with a bloody corpse -- but with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Running from the room with a briefcase full of cash, Jake begins to piece together his past when he meets sultry Diane (Nicollette Sheridan), who claims to be his wife. When at last Jake overhears her plot to shoot him full of drugs, he takes off with the briefcase again. A meeting with a second woman suggests a second possible past. Sexy, feisty diner waitress Gina (Lucy Liu) reports that Jake is janitor. But thanks to some apparent flashbacks that place him in an elite military unit, shooting up "bad guys" and blowing up buildings, Jake ultimately believes a third option.

Is it any good?

Crude and mostly pathetic, Code Name: The Cleaner rips off almost every other action-comedy film of the past decade, especially those starring Martin Lawrence and Jackie Chan. From its weak premise to its boring action to its unpleasant jokes, director Les Mayfield's movie fulfills the worst expectations of January releases: It's awful.

The plot involves a super-important computer chip, video games, FBI agents, and a Dutch clogging demonstration, as well as an ambitious janitor (DeRay Davis) who raps about plungers and mops and a fierce CEO who also happens to be a lethal martial arts expert (Mark Decascos). No, these various elements don't ever come together to make sense. And yes, Jake does remember who he is. Not that you'd care.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's use of class and race stereotypes -- particularly the way it contrasts Jake's working-class background with the rich  characters' stuffiness.

  • Does embracing stereotypes for comic effect make them easier to swallow?

  • Why are jokes based on stereotypes more or less funny depending on who delivers them?

  • Families can also discuss the film's treatment of its female characters. How do the two main women embody the opposite versions of Jake's fantasy self?

Movie details

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