Directed by Renny Harlin, 2007, this crime thriller stars the ever reliable Samuel L Jackson as Tom Carver, yet another in the long line of cops who took early retirement, gave up being a detective and became a crime scene cleaner. That means he basically goes into houses where a gruesome crime has been committed and cleans up the mess, from suicides to murders and every blood spattered thing in between.
A simpler life than being a detective you would think but oh no, life is never that easy for Tom as he finds himself catapulted into a cat and mouse situation when he realises that his last job was actually set up as a cover . Suddenly, everyone is asking him questions and trying to tear his life down to get to the truth. Tom is also having problems at home, with his young daughter now starting to ask why her mother was murdered ten years ago. It’s all enough to drive a man to drink and the relationship between father and daughter becomes increasingly difficult and strained.
Renny Harlin has made an excellent film here, building on his previous high octane successes such as Die Hard 2. He knows exactly how to handle this taut and well written script, wringing the maximum amount of angst out of it as well as the maximum amount of action. Visually,. His direction is superb with a lot of set pieces to watch lout for and some very subtle handling of the scenes between Tom and his daughter. Samuel L Jackson was one of the co producers of this movie and his belief in the script shines through in one of his better performances, giving the script exactly what it needs and becoming a compelling central protagonist, a man out of his depth both emotionally and in terms of experience. He really doesn’t know where the blows are coming from next and the viewer very much empathises with him.
An original, thrilling and sometimes moving action thriller, this is a must see and is another film that can be watched again and again.