Crime-scene cleaner

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m a big fan of crime films. Over the years I’ve seen loads, from blockbusters like Goodfellas and The Italian Job (both of ’em) to little-known British cult classics such as Shooting Fish or The 51st State. It’s always nice to find new ones to add to the list, and last night I sat down to watch Cleaner, with Samuel L Jackson playing a crime-scene cleaner who becomes embroiled in a murder when he cleans blood from a wealthy woman’s home.

The Radio Times only gave it two stars (out of a possible five) but I thought it was worth more than that, not least for a charismatic performance by Jackson himself. I honestly don’t think that man is capable of bad acting and I could quite cheerfully watch him read out the local telephone directory. The same couldn’t be said of one or two of the co-stars: Eva Mendes as the wealthy love interest wasn’t so much wooden as fossilised. But there were some good twists and turns, and the overall premise of a crime-scene cleaner being set up to clear away the evidence of a murder was nicely handled.

It seems staggering that Americans are expected to clean their own properties if a crime is committed on the premises, though. Just imagine if your other half had been horribly done to death, and you were left wiping bits of them off the coffee table or kitchen stove. I’m pretty sure the authorities deal with all that over here…

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