Director: Renny Harlin
Summary: After years as a detective, Tom Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) runs a business specializing in cleaning up crime scenes. But when he realizes his latest gig at a ritzy suburban house might have been a cover-up for a homicide, he must clean up the injustice. Our hygienic hero gets far more than he bargained for in director Renny Harlin's twisty crime thriller, co-starring Ed Harris as Carver's old partner and Eva Mendes as a grieving wife.
My Thoughts: "Original, interesting, and a suspenseful murder mystery. Most films with Samuel L. Jackson you see him kicking ass and being a loud personality. In this film he is a calm single father. Quite a switch from his usual films. I really enjoyed him in the movie. I also enjoyed the story, it being something I haven't seen before. Always great when there's a new concept that works. The twist is also good in this film. I really didn't see it going the way it did. Ed Harris and Samuel L. Jackson are great together in this movie, and I would really like to see them teamed up in another film. Keke Palmer also does a great job in this movie and her character really tugs at your heart strings. It was a great character driven mystery. Worth taking a look at."
I found this film fascinating. There is no real villain and the plot is brilliant: a man who makes his living cleaning up after dead bodies becomes embroiled in a conspiracy when he realizes that he's done a job before the police were called. All the acting is stellar in this, as is the dialogue and the exchanges between characters. It must be very hard for a single writer to do, but every character has a very distinct personality and voice that comes through in even the briefest scenes. Keke Palmer was great in this, and she and Samuel Jackson create a really believable father-daughter dynamic. The direction was terrific and I even liked the gore effects. It's unusual for them to actually add to the story instead of seeming gratuitous. I really relished this film.
This movie had a lot of promise. Decent premise, great cast (love Ed Harris and Guzman as well), but it falls apart in its transparency.
Within minutes of the open you see where this is going pretty much to the dot on the coroner's signature. This original problem could have been ameliorated had the rest of the set up not been just as clear cut. It was to the point of being linear it was all so obvious.
In addition, they do a lot of close-ups of the crime scenes and they were really fake looking. There should have been more effort here especially given that they were the focus of much of the subject matter.
Some of the dialogue was good and the acting was, of course, excellent, but the movie just lacked a lot in the way of making you look one way while going in another...the smart viewer will see it long before the lens allows in this one.
Maybe worth a watch for the performances, but not for the substance.
The ending is the weakest link in this film. In fact, the whole plot is. The unfolding story was implausible and unbelievable at most. You just can't connect with the story. An aging, balding old-timer desk cop has an affair with a hot, young Latina. And that hot Latina gets pregnant with the old cop's baby. Yeah right.
The film's saving grace are the acting, cinematography and direction by Renny Harlin. Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris and even Eva Mendes were effective in their respective roles.
All in all, a forgettable semi-decent film that is more on the forte of the CSI audience. 2.5/5
The acting by all was excellent in this almost a good thriller.
Violence: Yes, Sex: No, Nudity: No