Sleepless

"Weak"

Sleepless Review


In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the title and the plot, leaving everything feeling rather over-familiar. Nothing remotely surprising happens, and there's absolutely no subtext beneath the relentless verbal and physical violence. But a first-rate cast makes it watchable, and the action sequences are shot with a gritty energy that's rarely seen in these kinds of mindless thrillers.

It's now set in Las Vegas, where Detective Vincent (Jamie Foxx) and his shifty partner Sean (Tip "T.I." Harris) have stolen a stash of drugs during a deal between psychotic criminal Novak (Scoot McNairy) and vicious casino boss Rubio (Dermot Mulroney). Also on their trail is the Internal Affairs investigator Bryant (Michelle Monaghan), who is looking into police corruption with her partner Dennison (David Harbour). And after Novak kidnaps Vincent's teen son (Octavius J. Johnson), he only has one long night to sort out the mess, catch the bad guys and clear his name.

The main problem here is that Vincent is a good guy from the start, an undercover straight-arrow who has absolutely no internal conflict. This doesn't give Foxx much to play with, aside from worrying about his son and juggling questions from his ex-wife (Gabrielle Union). He just charges through each scene as the only heroic figure on-screen, Die Hard style, while Mulroney and McNairy merrily chew their way through the scenery. Both are clearly unhinged, and the actors have a great time striking each macho pose. Monaghan gets a slightly more complex role, although Bryant is little more than an irritant in the film, doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. At least she's a forceful woman in a sea of brutally violent tough guys.

Swedish director Baran bo Odar gives the film a sleek, urgent tone, only rarely pausing for breath between each visceral fight sequence. The frequent hand-to-hand brawls are unusually brutal, nicely avoiding the usual flashy choreography for something much earthier and grislier. That anyone is able to walk at the end is nothing short of miraculous. But it certainly isn't surprising. This is the kind of movie that so carefully explains who's good and who's bad that it leaves no room for viewers to engage their brains. The filmmakers tell us what to think at every moment, through growling dialogue and a cheesy TV-movie score. This means that even with the edgy action, there's never a moment of suspense. So despite the ace cast, it's probably only going to please fans of vacuous gun-happy cop thrillers.

Watch the trailer for Sleepless:



Sleepless

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2017

Box Office USA: $20,757,977.00

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: Open Road Films

Production compaines: Vertigo Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, Open Road Films (II), Riverstone Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Baran bo Odar

Producer: Roy Lee, Adam Stone

Starring: as Vincent Downs, as Jennifer Bryant, as Stanley Rubino, as Dena, as Rob Novak, as Doug Dennison, Inder Kumar as Doctor at Hospital, T.I. as Sean Cass, as Bennik, Octavius J. Johnson as Thomas

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