×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Clean Sweep

Smart cops-and-mobbers thriller strikes just the right balance of suspense and comedy as the combatants' personal lives keep getting in the way of their life-and-death jobs. Sexy lead Yael Hadar, as a tough female detective set up for a bad fall, helps make "Clean Sweep" more exportable than most Israeli pics. Remake potential is even higher.

With:
With: Yael Hadar, Alon Abutbul, Gal Zaid, Shmulik Calderone, Dalit Kahan, Tomer Sharon, Osnat Hakim, Hilla Sarjon, Avi Seder, Ofira Rahamim, Polly Reshef, Tal Rajuan Dar, Tzahi Grad, Dafna Levin, Yoav Nevo, Oshik Nini, Anat Corlander, Boaz Davidoff.

Smart cops-and-mobbers thriller strikes just the right balance of suspense and comedy as the combatants’ personal lives keep getting in the way of their life-and-death jobs. Sexy lead Yael Hadar, as a tough female detective set up for a bad fall, helps make “Clean Sweep” more exportable than most Israeli pics. Remake potential is even higher.

Dark-eyed Hadar toplines as Aya, an unsentimental undercover expert notably unburdened by sentiment or fear. But she starts to feel a bit in over her head when she’s called in to help smoke out near-albino drug kingpin Patrick Zarusi (scripter Gal Zaid, in a startling turnabout from his nebbishy lead in “Facing the Forest”). That’s because her volatile b.f., the married and harried Reuven (Alon Abutbul), is in charge of the case, and she wonders if he may be trying to get rid of her while covering his tush as things go from bad to worse.

Although the police are hiding a solid witness (Shmulik Calderone) against the mob, the trigger-happy kingpin is a master of tricky disguises (rabbi? call girl?), and the witness himself — he’s called Shimon Peres, and many of the characters are named after famous Israelis — seems intent on making things blow up before the trial can happen.

So Aya heads out on her own, seemingly enlisting Patrick’s help against the fuzz and befriending the genial, dreadlocked pot-puffer (Tomer Sharon) who lives downstairs in the process. The stoner’s roommate (funny Dalit Kahan), who’s going through b.f. problems of her own, gets Aya thinking about the proper role of the female orgasm (or, more specifically, the right ways to please a woman) in a happening relationship. This only makes her more ticked off. Naturally, everybody gets roughly what they deserve, some of it in a quietly nasty fashion, before things head to a nifty twist ending.

Cast is uniformly engaging and tech credits are smoothly inventive. Sudden tonal shifts are occasionally jarring, as in an automotive sex scene that looks like cheesy TV porn (or maybe is supposed to be spoofing it). Most surprises are of the positive variety, though, and if Hadar can speak any English, she might soon be getting some interesting calls.

Clean Sweep

Israel

Production: An Israel Film Fund (Tel Aviv) production. Produced by Eitins Evan. Directed by Oded Davidoff. Screenplay, Gal Zaid, based on a novel by Limor Nachmias.

Crew: Camera (color), Gideon Porath; editor, Guido Mar-Chaim; music, Ofer Meri; production designer, Hedva Shefaram; sound (Dolby), David Lis; assistant director, Yoav Roeh; casting, Gila Cohan. Reviewed at Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, May 18, 2003. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Yael Hadar, Alon Abutbul, Gal Zaid, Shmulik Calderone, Dalit Kahan, Tomer Sharon, Osnat Hakim, Hilla Sarjon, Avi Seder, Ofira Rahamim, Polly Reshef, Tal Rajuan Dar, Tzahi Grad, Dafna Levin, Yoav Nevo, Oshik Nini, Anat Corlander, Boaz Davidoff.

More Film

  • Berlin Film 'The Ground Beneath My

    Berlin Competition Film 'The Ground Beneath My Feet' Sold to Germany's Salzgeber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Salzgeber has acquired the German rights for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” from sales agent Picture Tree International. Variety has been given exclusive access to the film’s trailer. Salzgeber will release the film, directed by Marie Kreutzer, mid-May. Picture Tree describes the movie as a “contemporary female-led drama touching on [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series tonight (Jan. 15), held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis [...]

  • 76th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS --

    Film News Roundup: Glenn Close Selected for Oscar Wilde Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Glenn Close gets an honor, AFI names its Directing Workshop for Women participants and Teri Polo gets cast in a Christmas drama. CLOSE HONOR Glenn Close will be honored on Feb. 21 by the US-Ireland Alliance at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in [...]

  • Jason Reitman Ghostbusters

    Jason Reitman to Direct Secret 'Ghostbusters' Movie

    Sony Pictures is getting the wheels in motion for the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and it knows who it’s going to call to direct: Jason Reitman. Sources tell Variety that Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, will direct the latest pic in the famous franchise. Reitman has also co-written a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content