Hot Take: A complete waste of time. Welcome to January!
Sometimes you see an actor and you wonder what were they thinking? Immediately after seeing Sleepless, a lazy remake of 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, I Googled, “How much did Jamie Foxx get paid to make Sleepless?” I didn’t find an answer but I have to imagine it was a decent payday considering how bad the movie was. We’re talking about the guy who played Ray Charles and Django in one of the most cliché action movies in recent memory.
Everything you expect to happen, happens in Sleepless. At some point, you might feel a telepathic connection with the movie screen as everything you think unfolds on screen. Foxx’s performance is terrible but it’s not much worse than any other performance in the film. It’s hard to blame Foxx completely since there are creative minds around the set who could have fixed some of the film’s most glaring issues.
For example, early on in the film, Foxx’s Vincent Downs, an undercover cop trying to bust a major crime family, is stabbed in the gut as his son (Octavius J. Johnson) is abducted from his car as the two share a bonding moment over how to shoot a gun (after arguing for a few minutes about how Downs is never around for his family). For the rest of the film, Foxx turns the pain of his bleeding gut off and on. Sometimes it hurts so much, he can’t run. Sometimes he’s perfectly fine, even as he takes repeated punches to the very place he was stabbed.
This is indicative of the movie’s consistency. There are a number of scenes that just don’t jive. Whether it be Foxx’s decision to mutter and grumble every line he delivers or action scenes you’ve seen done better in other films. How many times are we going to see a parking garage chase scene? (And this is one of the most disappointing in recent memory.)
You also have to wonder why they bothered gathering such a talented cast. The aforementioned Foxx is joined by Michelle Monaghan, Gabrielle Union and Dermot Mulroney who all must have had gaping holes in their schedules and all needed a new pool in the backyard. Even the lesser known Scoot McNairy who plays the obligatory morally bankrupt baddie in the movie has proven to be better than this in other films. About the only casting that makes sense here is T.I. who plays Foxx’s partner Sean Cass but even T.I.’s resume shows he’s capable of better than what we get from Sleepless.
If you love “B” action movies and really have nothing better to do, I’d still recommend avoiding Sleepless. It does very little but establish that it will be run on repeat overnight as cable movie filler in the not so distant future. Ironically, Sleepless won’t keep those awake who happen to come across it in the wee hours of the morning when it finally finds its place in the world.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Sometimes the Action is Laugh Out Loud Bad
There are a few scenes in which the audience experienced unintentional outbursts of laughter. You know it’s unintentional, too, because not everyone laughed at the same time. However, at some point, it seemed like everyone laughed at something so there’s a positive, I guess. Even if the movie had no intentions of being funny.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
This almost serves as an amalgam of every bad corrupt cop movie you’ve ever seen. It makes last year’s Triple 9 look like an Academy Award winner.
- Gutsy Inconsistency
Foxx’s bleeding gut is surely not the only inconsistency but it is the most glaring. The only reason you might miss more inconsistencies is because it doesn’t take long to realize this isn’t a movie worth paying much attention to.
- Casino Games
The casino setting the movie eventually settles in is about as believable as the fact that we elected a rotten tangerine with an itchy Twitter finger as President.