Sleepless: A Review
Sleepless is by no means an original film. This is not entirely a problem when watching an action movie since entertainment value supersedes originality, but with a vast number of action films being produced, having an original storyline would add points to a film of this genre. A remake of the French film Sleepless Night , this adds to the feeling that the viewer has seen it all before. The ability to know what is happening before it happens is not ideal when the movie needs to really capture the audience’s attention by building tension.
However, this is not a bad film. While it does possess a number of clichés and the entire crooked cop storyline can feel a bit rewarmed, this is a solidly entertaining film. The problem is that for fans of action films, they’ll have seen better done versions of every set piece. The chase scenes have all been done before as have the gunfights in parking garages and fistfights in kitchens. Not every film can show us a unique action sequence like John Woo but if we have to see things we’ve seen before, it’s reasonable to expect the standard to match. But, the issue with the film lies really in execution of the familiar.
The storyline doesn’t help either. There are many attempted twists to the story but they never really land. From the opening introduction of Jennifer Bryant who is completely sure that something is rotten at the police force followed by the immediate confirmation that government issued ammunition was used at a crime scene to the torture scene that happens in the middle of a baseball park for little reason other than to show the criminals they’re dealing with are bad guys, there’s a lot that seems contrived.
Plot holes are an issue as well. The fact that the Novak, the crime boss who wants the cocaine, meets with the crooked cop who happens to have picked up the cocaine and works for him but doesn’t mention the fact that he’s done so then leading Novak to continue to search for it is one of the main issues. Having every single person in Las Vegas have a gun in their glove compartment, while convenient for the film, isn’t particularly believable either. Having Vincent run through the entire film while bleeding profusely from a stab wound also brings to mind the question of if he should have bled out by now.
By stating the film is not a bad film, I mean that someone who is unfamiliar with action films and tropes will miss the clichés. Action film fans will have nothing special to speak about after the film is done and even those who are not fans will have trouble remembering this film in the future. Its decent entertainment but isn’t at the forefront of the genre. The issue is not all lack of execution but it seems a lack of ambition. The film is content to be a standard film of the form but has a talented enough cast and decent source material to be better than it was.