Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * *
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Scoot McNairy, Dermot Mulroney, T.I., David Harbour, Gabrielle Union, Octavious J. Johnson, Tim Connolly, Drew Sheer, Sala Baker, Tim Rigby.
The story of the corrupt cop is always one that can enthral an audience, to see someone who is supposed to uphold the law cross the thin blue line to the other side, normally for money, is one that is as old as Hollywood and as poignant as modern day society. It is also a tale which has been assuredly been done every way possible, that in many respects it is no longer shocking because we live in a world where moral boundaries have become blurred and downright insensible; we have become immune to it because we understand it goes on all the time, the chronic Sleepless feeling we have is the only defence to the constant news about it.
With the same kind of production values attached to it, 20 years ago the premise of Sleepless would have been a top rated thriller of the day, Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan would have been rightly praised for their portrayals as Vincent and Bryant and the film would arguably have been talked of as genre defining. Now unfortunately, despite the appetite for slickness and general over the top scripts, it is lost in a wasteland of its own making and where there should be entertainment throughout the film for the cinema goer, it is instead a riot of flash action and predictable heroes and villains.
Sleepless also is a film which showcases the American desire for films which showcase the worrying rise in gun ownership, that in one scene alone Jamie Foxx’s character Vincent is shown to be going through the details of pointing and holding a weapon to his 15 year old is not only distasteful but in an age where more people are killed by their loved ones than they are by a random person on the street, it is a frightening proposition to put to an audience; the justification of such actions still beyond the realms of sanity.
A film that really could have lit up the sky, which could have been put into another bracket all together but instead is as likeable as a day trip to Trump Towers or to a casino that deals in bent chips; Sleepless unfortunately is a great advert for curing insomnia.
Ian D. Hall