When you read a cast list that includes Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, David Harbour and Dermot Mulroney, you start to expect good performances and an interesting story. Unfortunately, with 'Sleepless' this is not the case. A remake of the 2001 French action movie 'Sleepless Night', Las Vegas police detective Vincent Downs (Foxx) and his partner Sean Cass (T.I.) steal 25 kilos of cocaine from a local supplier. Cocaine that was supposed to be delivered to Rob Novak, a very dangerous and unstable drug dealer. In order to retrieve their product, the supplier - casino boss Stanley Rubino (Mulroney) - has Downs' son kidnapped. Downs' attempts to return the drugs are hindered by two cops from Internal Affairs; Bryant (Monaghan) and Dennison (Harbour). What ensues is one deadly and chaotic night in a Las Vegas casino.
Sleepless attempts to live up to the likes of Training Day, Street Kings, The Shield and even Die Hard in a way, but it just doesn't get close. The over the top action and barrage of cliches put it more on parr with the Fast and Furious movies. But at least those behind the Fast and Furious franchise know how ridiculous those movies are, whereas Sleepless takes itself far too seriously.
Most of the characters are inexplicably angry and irrational all of the time, continually making stupid decisions. Las Vegas casinos are some of the most watched locations in the world, almost every angle is covered by CCTV. Yet the bad guys continue to engage in criminal activity in full view of the public. McNairy's psychotic drug dealer, Novak is the worst culprit. I think they tried to make him like Trevor Phillips, the degenerate low life from GTA V. But where Trevor has an ounce of common sense at least, Novak has none. The police come across as totally incompetent. Incapable of carrying out a proper investigation, they seem content to just run around causing trouble. And no one ever seems to call 911, despite all the fights and gun battles going on.
With its great cast and $30 million budget, Sleepless feels like wasted potential. Granted, kidnapping a cop's family to get your drugs back isn't a very original concept. But I like to think the talent behind Sleepless could have done a lot more with a better script. The very two dimensional characters give the actors nothing to work with. Add to that a ridiculous story and you've got a paint by numbers action movie that spews out every cop movie and action movie cliche known to man!
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