Tom Carver is not your ordinary cleaner. He cleans up after the police and medics have left a house where a dead body was found and makes sure that everything looks back the way it used to be. Blood, guts, you name it. After he’s done, everything looks brand new again. One day he gets called out to a house where a man committed suicide. The owners aren’t present but the key was left outside under a flower pot so he goes in and does his job.
The next day, he realises that he forgot to put the key back in place so he returns to return it but when he arrives the woman present doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about. Tom doesn’t want to get into trouble so he decides to pretend a mistake was made and leaves. Tom used to be a cop until his wife got killed in a shooting and he still got his instincts. He doesn’t trust the matter and decides to have a chat with his former partner Eddie Lorenzo who’s also the godfather of his daughter. However, before he manages to talk with him, Tom sees on TV that the man of the house he cleaned has gone missing. Even worse: the guy apparently was supposed to be a key witness in a corruption case that leads straight into the police department. Tom realises that he’s cleaned up after a murder and that when this comes out, the cops will treat him as the primary suspect. There’s nothing to do now but to find out himself what has happened before the investigators go after him…
Sound and Vision:
We didn’t spot any major issues with the image and also the sound is reasonable. The movie doesn’t contain a lot of action but the dialogues are nicely positioned at the front center speaker while the surrounds are used in a subtle way.
Cleaner is a dark thriller with an atmosphere that can be compared with that of Unforgiven. Samuel L. Jackson really shines here as the troubled Tom Carver who hasn’t come to peace with the death of his wife and now has to take care of his daughter all by himself. All he wants is a quiet life and no trouble but unfortunately trouble finds him and he now gets forced to act if he wants to keep his life as it is.
The pace of the movie is slow and at times you may wonder when something is going to happen, but it’s all part of the setup of this film. Instead of a making a standard action movie, Harlin has managed to make Cleaner stand out of the crowd by keeping a modest tone. Definitely one to check out if you want a change from the usual action movies