What REALLY goes on in a job interview? Find out in the new revision of "Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed" (Warner Books) by Tony Medley, updated for the world of the Internet . Over 500,000 copies in print and the only book on the job interview written by an experienced interviewer, one who has conducted thousands of interviews. This is the truth, not the ivory tower speculations of those who write but have no actual experience. "One of the top five books every job seeker should read," says Hotjobs.com.

Code Name: The Cleaner (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Did Lawrence Olivier change his name to Lawrence the Actor? Did Bob Hope change his name to Bob the Comedian? Did Bing Crosby change his name to Bing the Singer? So how bad does a guy named Cedric have to be to change his name to Cedric The Entertainer? Generally, if someone volunteers, that he tells the truth, you probably can figure out he doesn’t. So if someone tells me he’s Cedric The Entertainer, then I figure he’s not very entertaining.

Unfortunately, the supposition has been validated by his movies that I’ve seen; just to name a few, there were “Barbershop,” “Be Cool,” “Lemony Snicket,” and “Barbershop 2,” dogs all.

In this one, he’s joined by two women who  probably won’t soon grace the stage at the Oscar ceremonies, Lucy Liu and Nicollette Sheridan. Liu has a string of credits as unimpressive as Cedric’s, including the two “Charlie’s Angels” debacles, “Lucky Number Slevin,” and “Domino.” Ugh. Sheridan is a TV actress most notable for a long stint on “Knots Landing,” and more recently on “Desperate Housewives.” I didn’t and don’t watch either, but I hope that she doesn’t give the embarrassing performances in those that she gives here. Even she must have been chagrined to have to strip down to little more than a string bikini and try to do a sexual dance for Cedric. This is one of those scenes that can cause the audience to go into terminal cringing, praying it will soon end.

The story might have been a good one. Jake (Cedric) awakens with amnesia next to a dead body. The rest of the movie is an attempt at humor as Jake tries to figure out if he’s really some kind of highly trained, deadly agent, sort of a bumbling Matthew Bourne. The humor falls as flat as the body next to which Jake awakens.

Here’s the opening line of the Production Notes:

When New Line Cinema presented Robert Adetuyi’s original screenplay for “Code Name: The Cleaner” to (the) producers…, they immediately recognized it was a great idea for a movie. A few drafts later, Cedric the Entertainer came aboard to star…During the period of script rewrites by George Gallo, Cedric helped to shape his character into a role tailor-made for his comedic talents.

Man, if what we see on the screen is after “a few drafts” and a “period of script rewrites,” I would hate to have to read Adetuyi’s original. Of course, there is always the possibility that the suits took a good screenplay and made it immeasurably worse. It was a great idea. Alas, the result is another opportunity lost.

January 3, 2007