film reel image

film reel image

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sleepless 2017 * * 1/2 Stars

SleeplessDirector: Baran bo Oda
Year: 2017
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney

Undercover cop steals cocaine from a kingpin high up on the drug food chain. Said kingpin kidnaps undercover cop's son and holds him for ransom until large amounts of blow are returned. Undercover cop is then followed and tormented by internal affairs plus every other criminal ruffian with a gun. So OK, that's the gist of Sleepless. It's my first review of 2017.

One thing I know about Sleepless, is that it will never leave you bored. This is probably one of the fastest paced thrillers I've ever seen in any genre. In between trying to take a breath, you the moviegoer get to experience endless fistfights, stabbings, and delectable shootouts. Sleepless (I'm not sure what the title means) is gritty, nasty, perpetually violent, and unforgiving. Yeah entertainment value exits here but there's very little character buildup. At 95 exhausting minutes, Sleepless is kinda more "soulless" than symbolic.

As a critic, I wanna rewind for a second. The movie poster for Sleepless has just one dude in frame. The movie poster for Training Day has Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke on it. Both posters however, look similar. Both lead actors have their heads turned to the right, both lead actors have their badges around their necks, and both leads carry the same intimidatingly badass look. It's just too bad Sleepless doesn't invigorate or compel you like Training Day once did back in 2001. That ship has sailed. Heck, that dog won't hunt.

Sleepless, which unfortunately got dumped into the month of January, is like a clone of a written or directed David Ayer project. The only difference is that Ayer's scripting is a little more grandiloquent and you know what, he was the pioneer of the dirty cop thriller (movement) to begin with. For kicks and giggles, this film is set in Las Vegas (I don't think I've ever seen a police drama take place in the Entertainment Capital of the World) and has a sleazy B movie feel to it. With no known Academy Award value attached, you could basically call Sleepless B movie fare with just a bigger budget ($30 million to boot).

Image result for sleepless 2016 jamie foxx movie scenesDirected by Switzerland-born Baran bo Odar (he helmed 2014's Who Am I), Sleepless consists of countless actor/actress closeups, layers upon layers of twist villains, and innumerable aerial shots of Sin City. I found the aerial stuff sort of amusing since the whole movie takes place in just one Vegas casino. Sleepless also has a few extras and/or side troupers whose screen time is almost laughable. Examples are a spa receptionist, a bathroom attendant, and a rental security guard. Were they there for comic relief? Who knows. The filmmakers obviously gave these people scale pay and you know what, it seemed like they were happy just to be in the unions. Ugh.

In terms of casting, well lead Jamie Foxx grumbles, co-star Michelle Monaghan rages, co-star Dermot Mulroney looks forlorn, and "with" cast member Gabrielle Union channels the pissed off, ex-wife. Overall, I went into Sleepless with low expectations. I then came out thinking it wasn't that horrible. Nevertheless, it still gets a sympathetic mixed review. Give me Street Kings, Bad Lieutenant, Unlawful Entry, or Training Day (mentioned earlier) as an alternative viewing experience. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment