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Review - Sleepless

By midlandsmovies, Apr 30 2017 02:39PM

Sleepless (2017) Dir. Baran bo Odar

Kaboom! I often moan that movies do not start quickly enough – dragging out exposition when a simple bombastic introduction is what is required. Sleepless avoids that with a car chase/shoot out which starts this 90 minute action-thriller.

Sitting firmly in “paycheque” territory, the Swiss director Baran bo Odar in his English language debut dismisses character and motivation for swift-moving crime tale. Actually a remake of French film Sleepless Night, the short run time is a bonus given the level of achievement earned by the movie’s conclusion.

In brief, Las Vegas based Jamie Foxx plays a corrupt policeman with Michelle Monaghan from internal affairs playing an obvious antagonist (example of their enlightened dialogue: “this city is crawling with dirty cops”). After stealing coke from a local casino owner (Dermot Mulroney doing his best ‘Terry Benedict’ from Ocean’s 11) Foxx’s son is kidnapped and he has just hours to return the coke to set his boy free.

Scoot McNairy as a crime-boss’ son sleepwalks his way through a villain role that literally contains moustache-twirling. In fact, I subsequently noticed all the bad guys in this film have appropriate Victorian-villain goatees.

A game of cat and mouse between Foxx, internal affairs and who has their hands on the cocaine then ensues to resolve the film’s laborious set-up. Yet it couldn’t be more inanely constructed and is filmed in a flat George Lucas-quality shot-reverse shot style. I even laughed during a kitchen fight (how original) as the choreography has Foxx receiving punches with all the 'weight' of being slapped by a giant foam hand.

Clichés abound as the film plays out more like an episode of CSI with dull direction and, despite a talented cast, a poor script they can do nothing with. Dialogue is so stale, it’s growing mould by the film’s conclusion.

Little flair, TV show-quality music and zero artistic touches means I could throw in a joke about how it puts you to sleep but the film’s failures are many and barely deserve such a pun. Don’t gamble on this film given its all-star line-up as I can assure you it will be a huge waste of your precious time.


Midlands Movies Mike

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