Director: Baran bo Odar
Screenplay: Andrea Berloff based on the French film Sleepless Night
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Scoot McNairy, Gabrielle Union and Octavius J. Johnson
The Pitch: “Hey, let’s remake Sleepless Night!”
Tagline: Don’t judge a cop by his cover.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Sleepless starts off with a lot of potential and then quickly becomes turns into a brainless action fest. That’s not a bad thing if you’re not hoping for more, but based on the trailer I was.
Sleepless opens with a drug ripoff that turns into a shootout leaving the drug couriers dead. The two masked men who ripped off the 25 million dollars worth of cocaine get away and we learn that they are cops. Vincent Downs (Foxx) and his partner show up at the station and Downs requests to investigate the case. Pretty smart move since he and his partner committed the crime. This is probably the last smart thing that happens in the movie.
Downs and his partner go to the crime scene and discover another pair of detectives are also working the case. To make matters worse both the drug dealer and the drug buyer are on to Downs (how do they figure this out before the cops?) and so they kidnap Downs’ son.
Downs’ has a son and a wife. He doesn’t live with them because he was never home. Son tolerates dad who is always late or doesn’t show up for scheduled visits. Wife is ready to move on to another man who has been in her life. This family life could be expected from a drug dealing no good cop.
Downs gets a call and is told to bring the cocaine to the drug dealer’s casino. Yep, just bring 25 million of coke to the casino and you’ll get your son back. So what does Downs do? He takes the satchel of coke to the casino. Ah, but he has a plan. He’ll go into the men’s room and hide half in the ceiling. Then he’ll wait to give his son back before giving them the rest of the drugs.
Can you think of another place that has more cameras than a casino? Not the brightest plan. What follows are a bunch of fights as Downs gets his son back, loses his son, fights the drug dealers and fights the other cops investigating the crime. There are fights in the hallway, fights in the kitchen, the disco, the spa, the pool and the parking garage. You’ll see more people with guns get their guns taken away by unarmed folks than in any other movie I can remember.
The thing that bugs me is that this could have been a better movie with just a little more thought. Nits I will pick…
- Downs takes all the coke to the casino and then hides half of it in the casino. What’s the point? Doesn’t he know about cameras?
- When the female cop trailing Downs discovers he’s brought the stolen coke to the casino she doesn’t call it in. Instead she takes the coke and hides it in a locker in the spa in the same casino?!?
- When Downs goes to get the coke he hid so they will give him his son he discovers it is missing. So he goes to the kitchen and packs up sugar. The drug dealers take it without checking because cops are supposedly on their way up.
- In fight scene after fight scene someone with a gun has it taken away from them by an unarmed person.
- In a scene in the parking garage, one of the thugs puts on a mask and begins firing off tear gas rounds. The tear gas has no effect on anyone. Perhaps he was just firing off smoke grenades, but if that is the case why is he wearing a mask and the smoke would hinder his and his partner’s vision as well.
- Downs’ wife shows up at the parking garage just in time to kill a thug and save his life.
- It turns out (major spoiler alert and cliché) that Downs is a good cop who has been undercover for two years. His dedication to the case is an admirable thing. Ignoring his family was all in the line of the job. Aww! His son and wife are going to forgive him and all will be well in the Downs’ household.
- The cliché I was hoping that they’d avoid was that the bad cop was actually the female detective’s partner.
If it sounds like I hated Sleepless, I didn’t. If you go in expecting a fairly mindless action flick, you should like it. I was just hoping for so much better.