Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
|Featuring:|| Jamie Foxx … Vincent Downs
Michelle Monaghan … Jennifer Bryant
Dermot Mulroney … Stanley Rubino
David Harbour … Doug Dennison
Gabrielle Union … Dena
Scoot McNairy … Rob Novak
Kimberly Battista … Showgirl
T.I. … Sean Cass
Sala Baker … Bennik
|Director:||Baran bo Odar|
Open Road Films
|Distributor:||Open Road Films|
“Don’t judge a cop by his cover.”
Remake of: “Sleepless Night” (2011—France)
Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) is a good cop gone bad… sort of. He works for the Las Vegas Police Internal Affairs Department, unbeknownst to a majority of the department, and has been undercover over the past two years trying to determine how a major drug lord, Brad Novax, has been able to escape the justice system for so long and who within the Department has been protecting Novax and his family.
Well things just got personal for Vince. He’s had to keep up his undercover identity top secret from even his own ex-wife and their 16 year old son, Thomas (Octavius J. Johnson). One day, as Vince is picking up his son, on the drive home mobsters from a man named Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney), working under the Novax family, kidnaps Thomas. Why kidnap Thomas you ask? Well, let’s just say Vince really rattled the lion’s cage and stole some drugs from Novax. Rubino tells Vince he needs to surrender the drugs to Novax or risk his son’s life.
On top of THAT, there’s this persistent Internal Affairs officer, Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan), who is suspicious of Vince and believes he’s a crooked cop. So let’s see… return the drugs, save Thomas, and not get caught? All in one night? Easy, right?
At first when requesting the assignment, it was the premise that drew my attention. I’m always up for a good crime thriller, especially when it involves talented actors and actresses like Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan. Indeed, the premise reminds me, in some respects, of television programs like “24,” and in some aspects to films like “Taken 3.”
I’ll be frank. Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan try to give the best performances they can. In the end, however, they could not save this film from its weak, slow-paced plot and one-dimensional characters. That and numerous scenes of violence, plus a plethora of obscene language (more of this to be discussed in the Content for Concern section of this review) make this film a miss. The one other thing I might praise in this movie, while the violence is extensive at times, is that it is timed appropriately. I digress though…
Content for Concern
Violence: Extreme. The list seems endless. There are multiple scenes where characters are seen being shot, stabbed, slammed into walls, punched and engaged in knife fights. In one scene, Thomas is being strangled (he survives). There is even one disturbing scene where Novax is torturing his cousin for information, using a pitching machine to shoot baseballs into his abdomen, , and he tells his henchmen to cut his cousin’s tongue out. (Nothing graphic is shown. Later a character is given a box with the tongue inside, but, again, nothing graphic is shown.) One character’s genitals are grabbed. There are also two intense car chases.
Language: Obscene and unnecessary. There are over 60+ instances of the word “f*ck” (two in the form of an obscene gesture) “mother-f**ker” (4), sh*t (35), a** (6), a**-hole (3), h*ll (2) S.O.B. (1), Jesus’ name is taken in vain once, and God’s name is taken in vain 8 times (7 of which are in the form of “g*d-damn”). Vulgar language includes the n-word, “p*ssed-off”, d*ck, and balls.
Sex/Nudity: This is limited to a couple scenes taking place inside a strip club (we see some strippers dancing on poles), as well some women in bathing suits at a casino spa.
The only redeeming feature about this movie is that Vince is willing to do anything to protect his family. In the film, he goes to the end of the earth to protect Thomas. There is nothing else I can draw from this film.
Other: Some characters are seen drinking alcohol. The film contains a strong amount of drug content.
Overall, “Sleepless” is a jumbled mess—violent, obscene and with very little to offer the Christian moviegoer. I strongly urge you to avoid this film.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Mild to moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
“Sleepless” is one of those movies that needed to be a lot better or a lot worse to make much of an impression. …
—Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
…a movie that's all sizzle and no steak… stylishly hollow… The movie is also not very plausible, in a way that cuts down on its entertainment value…
—Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…the action is relentless, and the results monotonous. …Foxx tries very, very hard to be badass, but his formidable charisma is barely on display… and Monaghan overplays her character’s Inspector Javert-like tendencies to the point of near silliness. …
—Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter