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Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Movie Review: Sleepless (2017)

Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, Tip T.I Harris, Gabrielle Union, Scoot McNairy 
Genre: Action Crime Thriller
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $32 million 

Plot: A cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scours a nightclub in search of his kidnapped son

'Slack, Jaded Taken Thriller'

A crooked undercover cop and his companion are involved in a drug heist that goes wrong & in retribution, Vincent's son is kidnapped during a carjacking and Vincent has to go and rescue him and all within one night & returning the drugs that he stole to a mobster, whilst an Internal Affairs officer and her accomplice are on his trail. 

A U.S remake of the 2011 joint Belgian/French/Luxembourg flick, Nuit Blanche (translated as Sleepless Night), Sleepless is so paint-by-numbers, it recycles tropes, ideas and plot themes from other action movies, including Taken, but never managing to go out of its way to make it feel like I should invest any interest in it. 

Jamie Foxx's film career post-Oscar triumph for Ray has been patchy, but he does strike me as an actor who could transition well as an action star- providing he gets the quality scripts that he needs, yet in Miami Vice and this effort, Sleepless, they have let him down. Foxx, however, does well in the role and in the action scenes, he acquits himself really well, despite Vincent being fully one-dimensional and monotonous throughout the film. Character-wise, Vincent is a broken man, but there was just nothing about him as a person of whom I could empathise fully as the main hero. If only the writers had given Foxx and his role of Vincent some room to inject some air of humour & likeability. 

There is just next to nothing in Sleepless that feels inspired, special, new or different; the action, as well shot as it is, is repetitive, looks predictable and it feels like a straight- to- DVD action flick, the characters are so underdeveloped & unlikeable or dull and you don't feel heavily invested into either of them, although in actor, Scoot McNeary, he arguably puts in the best turn out of the main casting as the villain as they work with an overly cliched, middling and unoriginal script. Michelle Monahan tries to do her best in an underwritten role as the Internal Affairs cop, Jennifer & yet again, Gabrielle Union is wasted in a bit-part role as Vincent's wife whereas the son, was well, annoying. 

Dermot Mulroney plays a crooked casino boss and looking every bit like a bloated Tony Stark aka Iron Man, minus his charisma. The story is weak and trifling and towards the end, it became ridiculous to the point it bothered me. None of the bad guys is established and it is confusing in working out who is the central villain of the piece. The number of double-crosses and twists didn't shock me and when they happened, I didn't really care about them as none of them made a lick of sense. There was an air of tension seeping through, once or twice, but besides that, the characters - but for say the female characters -, are mainly jackasses & still each and every one of them were so woefully written, it undercut everything and thus forth, it made the film far less than satisfying to sit through. The third act, however, pretty much sealed the deal for me as being a terribly executed, as well as being a slack thriller. 

This added up to a hollow and mediocre action thriller that is fully disguised as a B-movie and one you'd find straight-to-DVD or on NetFlix but with slightly more accomplished actors, well, in Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monahan anyway. 

If only they hadn't settled for less... such as this. 

Final Verdict:

Ultimately, Sleepless is a film that ought to have been great or very good, yet in the end, it practically settles for mediocrity, predictability and in being dour and wholly sterile. 

This is one movie I won't be losing sleep over.


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