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Sleepless Review

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Cop Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) has just, along with his partner, swiped a bag loaded with drugs from crooked casino owner Rubino (Dermot Mulroney). But when his son is kidnapped, Downs learns that the connections to the Vegas criminal underworld run much deeper, and so begins a desperate race to get the teen back.

★★★★★

Sleepless Night is a 2011 French thriller in which a cop embarks on a relentless, night-time chase to rescue his kidnapped son from drug dealers, in the process revealing more about himself as he fights to save his child. Sleepless is an attempt to tell the same story, but one that has somehow been leeched of all that was interesting about the original. Instead, we have the likes of Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Scoot McNairy and Dermot Mulroney, who have all been good in much better movies, seemingly content to coast through an under-inspired thriller that mistakes kinetic camera movement for a driving enticement to watch.

Certainly, there are twists and turns as Foxx’s Vincent battles thugs, security guards and crooked officers, not to mention a stomach wound received early on that would send most people to the hospital immediately. But there’s so little new to be found here that you’d imagine peeking behind the movie’s set and discovering other, better films up on blocks, their parts cannibalised and then thrown together in a careless, loud action vehicle with nothing of its own to add.

This is the sort of redo that fuels the derision for remakes in the first place.

Foxx goes through the motions, saddled with the sort of backstory — ruined marriage, difficult relationship with his moody teen sprog — that never makes the character come to life. Monaghan fares better as a hard-nosed Internal Affairs officer who must be twice as tough as her colleagues in a very boys’ club department, but even she isn’t able to generate much interest. And the less said about the villains’ side the better: Mulroney looks as though he’s playing Brian Cox in an amateur production about the actor’s life, while McNairy’s a slick-haired psycho cipher of a drug baron. This is the sort of redo that fuels the derision for remakes in the first place.

Less sleepless, more insomnia cure. For all its attempts at action, it’s a rote, dull crime thriller with little fresh to offer.

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