review by Bobby Blakey
There is no denying that Jamie Foxx has already proven himself to be a great actor, but it’s been a while since we got to see him in a meaty action role. His latest, Sleepless, a remake of the French actioner Sleepless Night teams him up with Scoot McNairy, Gabrielle Union, T.I. Dermot Mulroney, and Michelle Monaghan, but does it pack the punch of the original and the trailer or will it miss be a botched assignment?
Sleepless follows Vincent Downs, a cop in Las Vegas who steal some drugs with the help of his partner not knowing they belong to a crime family who has his son kidnapped in exchange for the drugs. Now with an obsessed IA agent on his tale he must evade her while scouring a nightclub in search of his son and clearing his name. I thought the trailers to this movie offered up a great chance for a gritty crime actioner, but sadly it didn’t manage to fully deliver. The story is a cross between Die Hard and Taken with it literally looking like something they might have wanted Neeson to star in. Foxx has the swag and chops to deliver a cool character like this, but he just isn’t given all that much to do other than run around and fight. This would be fine had the villains and rest of the story feel more real and intense, but instead it falls flat. The biggest issue here for me was the numerous dumb decisions and conversations between the characters. There are so many ridiculous choices and turns in the dialogue that you can’t look past them. I was literally rolling my eyes at times in frustration.
These issues are made all the more irritating because they are dumbing down what could have been a badass action flick. There are plenty of fight sequences and shoot outs that some have said they didn’t think were all that good, but for me they worked. They felt less like the stereotyped martial arts fights and just brutal chaos. There is nothing that stands out with them that hasn’t been seen but they still are fun to watch. As a whole this film delivers on the action, but not much else. The ending even sets up for a follow up feature that I would love to see Foxx back kicking ass in, but hope it will be with a much better script and characters to play off of.