Sleepless (15)



Thriller (2017)
95mins US

Starring: Scoot McNairy, Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney
Director: Baran bo Odar
Writer(s): Andrea Berloff
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Las Vegas Police Department homicide detectives Vincent Downs and Sean Cass don masks and brandish government-issue weapons to steal a shipment of drugs. Their haul is 25 kilos of cocaine. The next day, knife-wielding thugs kidnap Vincent's teenage son, Thomas, en route to football practice. Shady casino owner Stanley Rubino telephones the distraught father and explains he is holding Thomas to ransom: the missing white powder in exchange for the boy's life.

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LondonNet Film Review
Sleepless (15)

Shapeless, Soulless, Spineless and Senseless would be more fitting titles for director Baran bo Odar's lumbering remake of the 2011 French-language thriller, Nuit Blanche. Transplanting the breathless cat and mouse from the outskirts of Paris to the twinkling lights of Las Vegas, Sleepless bets heavily on frenetic action and implausible plotting, and loses everything - including our patience - in a tiresome finale riddled with double and triple-crosses. While the original film was relatively low budget and benefitted from a leading man, who performed his own stunts to heighten tension, bo Odar's lacklustre revamp parachutes in a starry Hollywood cast including Oscar winner Jamie Foxx...

Sleepless. Copyright: Entertainment One. Caption: Jamie Foxx stars in Sleepless, directed by Baran bo Odar. All Rights Reserved.Close-ups of his sweat-beaded brow hope to convince us that the stakes are high while German composer Michael Kamm cranks up the volume on a relentlessly unsettling score, which would be better suited to a gore-slathered slasher than a serpentine crime thriller. Andrea Berloff's script trips itself up with laughable lapses in logic: the traitorous cop, who leaves an incriminating voicemail that blows his cover; the mother with freshly spilt blood glistening on her hands, who tenderly touches the face of her son and, miraculously, fails to transfer a single drop of rhesus positive. Sweet dreams aren't made of this.

Las Vegas Police Department homicide detectives Vincent Downs (Foxx) and Sean Cass (Tip "T.I." Harris) don masks and brandish government-issue weapons to steal a shipment of drugs. Their haul is 25 kilos of cocaine "worth seven or eight million on the streets". The next day, knife-wielding thugs kidnap Vincent's teenage son, Thomas (Octavius J Johnson), en route to football practice. Shady casino owner Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney) telephones the distraught father and explains he is holding Thomas to ransom: the missing white powder in exchange for the boy's life. It transpires that Rubino needs the cocaine as part of a business deal with sadistic gangster Rob Novak (Scoot McNairy). "If I can't deliver, I'll give him your son instead," Rubino coldly informs Vincent. The cop races against the clock to personally courier the drugs to the Luxus casino, whilst concealing Thomas' abduction from his suspicious ex-wife, Dena (Gabrielle Union). Meanwhile, tenacious Internal Affairs officer Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) and her partner Doug (David Harbour) are shadowing Vincent, and intend to catch him red-handed.

Sleepless is a yawn, beginning with a pedestrian car chase on curiously empty city streets. Foxx mumbles lifeless dialogue as if in a daze and fails to generate on-screen chemistry with any of his co-stars, including Johnson's two-dimensional son. Monaghan caterwauls her ballsy character's frustrations - we know how she feels - while Union is surplus to requirements yet, hilariously, she manages to insert herself into the film's centrepiece shootout. "This is nuts!" observes an Internal Affairs officer. It's a fair cop.

- Kim Hu

Sleepless. Copyright: Entertainment One. Caption: Jamie Foxx stars in Sleepless, directed by Baran bo Odar. All Rights Reserved.


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