by The Commander
2 (out of 4 stars)
Sleepless is a police drama set in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is yet another ‘dirty’ cop drama involving police, the mob, drug lords, internal affairs, a casino mogul and car chase scenes. It’s been done before in both big budget and no budget films. While it may contain some high budget stars, the film doesn’t deserve their talents.
The story goes like this. Two African-American cops are involved in the theft of a cocaine deal. Unfortunately, they stole it from a drug cartel. When the drug kingpin doesn't receive his money or his drugs there will be hell to pay. An Internal Affairs investigation is underway believing the two cops are dirty. Add in a dirty casino mogul, the kidnapping of one of the cop’s young son (in exchange for the drugs and money) and you've got a typical police drama. Most of the film takes place over 8 hours so I don't know what the title Sleepless has to do with anything. Staying up till the wee hours in the morning in a Las Vegas casino is considered normal.
I found this action style movie to be predictable and at times boring. The director’s (Baran bo Odar) use of fast paced action scenes didn't help the story. And the use of actors who always play the bad guy in most films do not create any mystery either in this film. It was just a very predictable film, a waste of time watching it, unless you’re stuck on a plane or you’ve seen everything else in your home theatre’s vast library.
The cast walks thru their roles and are solely there for a paycheck. Jamie Fox is cast in the lead as Vincent, one of the dirty cops along with T.I. as his partner Sean Case. His son Thomas (Octavius J. Johnson) puts in a ridiculous performance. His pestering wife Dana (Gabrielle Union) runs into a gunfight? Dermot Mulroney is Stanley Rubio, the only casino mogul who doesn’t have enough security to protect him from the “bad guys”. Internal Affairs officers Jennifer Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) and Doug Dennison (David Harbour) are laughable. Is there any movie where Harbour has appeared where he’s NOT the bad guy?
The only decent performance is turned in by Scott McNairy as the drug kingpin Novak. Apparently, he was the only person ready to come to work to act. McNairy has played a wide range of roles in TV and films including Fargo, Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Non-Stop, Gone Girl and Halt & Catch Fire. He is a very versatile actor whose time has come. If it wasn’t for his performance, I’d give this movie a lower score.
Skip this movie.