Director: Baran bo Odar
After apparently stealing a large consignment of narcotics from Rubino (Dermot Mulroney), Las Vegas cop Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) sees his son snatched right from under his very eyes. Rubino informs Downs that the stolen goods had been earmarked for sale to Novak (Scoot McNairy) and unless they were returned Downs would not see his son returned. With internal affairs also interested in the case which also involved two murders, Downs also has Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) and Dennison (David Harbour) on his tail and it becomes a race against time for our anti-hero to save his son.
Jamie Foxx has a mixed CV but, as Vincent Downs, I felt this stood up to a more than adequate level given the genre of the movie. Although it’s never really in any doubt where his true allegiances lie he gives enough to the role to add a certain amount of questions towards his loyalties. I particularly enjoyed Michelle Monaghan’s portrayal of a cop recently returned from being attacked by a junkie. She asserts herself back into her role despite clearly being incredibly unstable but no less determined to get a positive result. Partnered with the always enjoyable David Harbour, they both provide a good “buddy-cop” element to the film. For Scoot McNairy, this was a role tailor-made for him. Not unlike Bryant, Novak is an equally unhinged character with the same determination showing but with very different goals.
We all know Jamie Foxx has made some excellent movies (see Django Unchained and Collateral) but there’s also been moments like Law Abiding Citizen which, at first look, Sleepless would seem to fall into the latter’s category. It doesn’t. It’s not a great thriller by any stretch of the imagination but it’s sits comfortably in the above average section. It’s a very compact film, mostly set within the confines of a Las Vegas casino which gave it the a kind of Die Hard feel but on a much less extravagant level. Yes, it’s very much a “by the numbers” action thriller and doesn’t really leave you guessing too much as to how things will conclude but with the right sort of performances the cast make the most of what’s put in front of them. It’s not a film that is likely to stand out long in the memory but I didn’t leave the cinema in any way disappointed. Sleepless gave me what I expected and in that respect didn’t leave any real cause for complaint. The only thing I would say against it is that Sleepless presumes quite heavily there will be a follow-up as it suggests that there is more to come from the story than that which you have just witnessed. I’d be very surprised if there was a sequel but, to be fair, I’d probably be interested all just the same.
The verdict: 3/5 Stars: A compact and well made thriller that ticks the required boxes.