The month of January continues to be one of the weirdest times for movies. The best part about it is, you never really know what you are going to get. This is especially the case with action movies. For the first one of 2017, “Sleepless,” we actually see a surprisingly enjoyable thriller.
The movie follows an undercover Las Vegas cop named Vincent Downs who finds himself caught up in corrupt cops, internal affairs officers, and gangsters. When a failed heist leads to the kidnapping of his son, Downs must find every possible way to get him back. This film was based off of another French movie written a little while back.
While the synopsis makes it look very generic, “Sleepless” actually holds its own. The entertainment that I got out of the movie was actually quite enjoyable. Despite the poor rating of a 13 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, this film had me engaged throughout the entire hour and thirty minute running time.
To me, the movie was simple enough where you could watch it on a snowy Friday night and find it fun. By not expecting much, I found the twists and turns this film took to be kind of smart and a little shocking. I’m happy to say that I was on the edge of my seat for the entire time.
What made the movie work was, Jaimee Foxx’s character. They made him heroic but not invincible. There are too many action movies like Jason Bourne where the main character is shown as an unstoppable human being. Foxx’s character at least showed some flaws that every human had which gave the entire film a more realistic feeling to it.
The cast around him was good as well, but a little under utilized in my opinion. With Gabrielle Union as Foxx’s wife, I felt like she was very unnecessary to the main plot of the story, and the same goes for his partner played by T.I. They weren’t in the movie for very long, but when they were it felt kind of useless. There was even a seen where Union’s character got caught up in a shootout which felt a little out of place.
There was a particular scene at the end that kind of caught me off guard which was kind of nice. The film took a turn that I never imagined it taking. This twist is what actually would boost my rating for this movie. I would even say that it was border line clever. The script never really felt that awkward either. Most of the dialogue was pretty grounded and realistic.
What this move did lack however was, any sense of direction as far as visuals go. This is what I felt kept it from having a more emotional impact by the end of the film. Director Baran Odar doesn’t really utilize any camera ability here, though he also did a decent job not dragging out scenes because of visual prowess. It was a nice trade off.
The movie never felt that long for its short running time which was a nice surprise compared to other action movies. The utilization of the different settings was pretty cool as well, because it kept the film focused instead of all over the place.
All in all, this was a pleasant outlier in January for movies. While it doesn’t shy away from the typical generic aspects of action movies, people will still be satisfied with this film I feel. Not only is it a good theater movie, but it is a nice rental at home as well.
I've grown up to be an avid sports fan, and have also gained a large appreciation for the art of movie making. Going to the movies is something that I do on a weekly basis, and I've continued to enjoy them for many years now.