Sleepless struggles to tell it’s slightly too complex story and makes some pretty big leaps in logic at times. Director Baran bo Odar seems to have done the best he could with a mediocre script, but the film struggles to keep its point together. The cast commits to their roles, but it’s not enough to make this a good film.
Sleepless fails at most of the things it tries…
Jamie Foxx does some solid action sequences and really plays this role super dramatic. A cop who begins the film ripping off a lot of drugs with his dirty cop partner, played by T.I., finds out they robbed the wrong people. Vincent’s son Thomas (Octavius J. Johnson) is kidnapped by Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney), a casino manager to whom the drugs belonged, until he gets his drugs back. Rubino needs the drugs to sell to Novak (Scoot McNairy) or it’ll be his head.
Now, this is a good place to print out pictures of all these people, pin them to the wall, get some yarn, and try to keep track of all of this. Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) is an Internal Affairs officer with her partner, Doug Dennison (David Harbour), who knowns there are cops working for Novak. She suspects Vincent and Cass, and follows Vincent on a hunch. Things get crazy and of course Vincent’s ex-wife, Dena (Gabrielle Union), keeps calling wondering where Thomas is, but Vincent just keeps lying.
Some spoilers…but it’s probably better to just read them
As stated, this film really wanted to be interesting, but there are too many things it is trying to do and none are done that well. Except the fight sequences and a cool car chase in a parking garage. That’s not enough to make this movie good of course. The saddest part is probably the very end where the filmmakers imply a sequel that is unlikely to ever see the light of day. Had they spent a little more time building an interesting villain rather than the over-the-top Novak rather than planning for the follow-up, this film may have been solid.
There are several moments where things don’t add up. For one, Vincent is supposed to be an undercover I.A. officer, but he’s killing people left and right. Not an uncommon element for an action film, but it does clash with the story they’re trying to sell. Also, Vincent’s family plays too big a role in the action sequences like it was bring your family to work at the precinct.
In the trailer, the kidnapping is shown and Vincent is stabbed in the stomach. It’s safe to assume that this will put a ticking clock on Vincent as he will be struggling to survive long enough to save his son. However, it proves to be a minor inconvenience for Vincent as he has to keep changing clothes, but never his bandage, and grimacing in pain. Ultimately, it’s a plot element that has no real impact and only helps to point out more of the flaws in the writing.
Sleepless has little to mention in the positive. The cast tries to sell their story, but it’s so mixed up that it doesn’t really help. Luckily, the film is just over 90 minutes and the action increases as the film goes on. The fight sequences with Foxx are well choreographed, but very movie fight style. He also may be one of the luckiest cops to ever live, but it is a movie. Sleepless earns the Not a Total Waste of Time rating.