The Cleaner (2007/Sony DVD)
Picture: C+ Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: C
Harlin losing streak continues with the would-be thriller The Cleaner (2007) about a special needs sanitation agent (Samuel
L. Jackson) who handles everything from toxic waste to murder scenes, finding
that a job he did might be a set-up to frame him for murder. Immediately, Matthew Aldrich’s screenplay has
so many implausibilities and issues that there is no way this had even the
least chance of working.
silly, lame and dumb, only the good performances of cast members Jackson, Ed
Harris, Eva Mendez and Luiz Guzman save this from being an absolute disaster,
but Harlin is running on fumes as a director, one that was never that good to
begin with. Pacing is a mess, as is
everything else, including a strange turn by Keke Palmer as Jackson’s daughter
in a relationship that is shrill and handled most unrealistically. Maybe solvents ruined copies of the script,
but we doubt it.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is on the soft side, stylized or not, as
Director of Photography Scott Kevan seems to play it too safe with
compositions. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
is a little better with a decent soundfield and well-recorded dialogue,
benefiting the actors the most. This has
been issued on Blu-ray and we would expect performance to be improved in both
respects. Extras include the ability to
download a low def copy to your PC or portable device, deleted scenes that do
not add anything and an odd commentary track by Harlin.
- Nicholas Sheffo